Illinois requires a balanced housing approach to increase our supply of housing — not the harmful, unintended consequences of rent control.
Rent control causes the supply of affordable housing to become reduced due to a lack of investment in new development and after units are removed from the market following condo conversions. Plus, quality becomes reduced after improvements and modernizations are deferred because they are unaffordable. In addition, studies indicate too many people without financial need draw rent control’s benefits, leaving the neediest to sometimes search for housing options. And finally, rent control lowers property values, shifting a heavier burden of property taxes to homeowners.
SHAPE Illinois believes Illinois neighborhoods need an increased supply of multifamily housing, specifically 48,000 new apartment units in Chicagoland alone by 2030. The state could help by funding affordable housing in the capital bill and by creating tax incentives to build more affordable housing; these ideas would be especially helpful when paired with reforms to simplify and accelerate the construction process. For a shorter-term solution to displacement issues, creative aid programs to fill the affordable gap are being implemented in other parts of the country and worth exploring here.
At SHAPE Illinois (Support Housing Affordability, Progress and Equality) we stand in opposition of any legislative initiatives which would overturn Illinois’ Rent Control Preemption Act, which currently prohibit local governments from instituting state or local rent control policies. Economists and housing policy experts from across the political spectrum believe rent control results in fewer affordable housing options while simultaneously reducing the quality of remaining affordable housing options, rejecting the notion that rent control is wise public policy.
SHAPE Illinois (Support Housing Affordability, Progress and Equality) recognizes an urgent need for the state of Illinois to develop strategies aimed at a balanced housing approach – policies that will encourage additional supply of market-rate, affordable, and workforce housing units. Chicagoland alone will require 48,000 new apartments by 2030 to keep pace with local demand, so public policy solutions like rent control would be counterproductive, discouraging the construction of new units and limiting the investment necessary to bring renovations and improvements to older apartment stock.