Legislative Update - January 2015

Advocacy News,

Chicago City Council

Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) "Deferred and Published"

The Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) did not advance today in the City Council. Instead the measure was "deferred and published" and will not come up for a vote again until the next City Council meeting, currently scheduled for March 18. Alderman Carrie Austin (34th Ward) and Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) made the motion to "defer and publish," which will allow for more time to advocate for changes and extend the effective date of the measure.

The ARO would require developers to build more affordable housing units, as opposed to opting out and paying in-lieu fees instead. For downtown rental projects, the proposal increases the in-lieu fees, requires 25% of required affordable units to be built, and includes a limited linked development option.

Problem Landlord List Approved by City Council

The City Council approved an ordinance to authorize publication of a list of "problem landlords" whose residential buildings have repeatedly been subject to enforcement proceedings that resulted in a finding of liability for serious violations of the Building Code. Owners on the list would be ineligible for City licenses and permits and would be prohibited from doing business with the City. The ordinance was enacted, in part, in reaction to the death of four children who perished in a recent apartment fire where no working smoke detectors were found. Apparently the landlord failed to install smoke detectors after repeated warnings.

CAA will meet with the City to discuss the standards and threshold for determining eligibility for the list in order to ensure that only the most egregious violators are affected and responsible owners are not unduly penalized.