The Chicago City Council has approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s five year housing plan for 2019.
Mayor Emanuel went before the City Council on December 11th to propose his legislation to integrate lower-cost housing into neighborhoods that are mainly single-family homes.
On the aim of his proposed legislation, Mayor Emanuel said, “This plan is more than goals and strategies. It’s a vision for a more equitable city where every resident has access to a safe, affordable home that meets their family’s needs.”
The initiative is a $1.4 billion framework for a major housing plan from 2019 to 2023.
“From West Englewood to the West Loop to West Ridge, we will continue to work with elected officials and communities to help residents stay in their homes while expanding affordable housing options,” he said.
The initiative is a $1.4 billion framework for a major housing plan from 2019 to 2023, and will coordinate support for 40,000 residential units, according to the Chicago Government for Planning and Development.
One notable feature of the mayor’s legislation is his demand for legalizing new coach houses, which have been banned since 1957. Coach houses, also known as granny flats, were typically a second outdoor building that was used to house horse-drawn carriages. More recently, they’re buildings that have been converted into secondary suites, guest houses, or garages.
Some advocates say that the accessory homes could drive down rent, while others believe that the construction could have consequences. Crain’s Chicago reports that Steven Vance, an urban planner with MAP Strategies and founder of Chicago Cityscape, said, “Current zoning says that if you don’t have a renter in the coach house for a year or longer, you’re not allowed to rent it out again, ever.”
Advocates hope that by eliminating the one-year rule, residents will have the time and opportunity to bring their granny flat up to code.