Developers face bigger fees if they miss affordable housing quota

December 08, 2014
Developers of some of Chicago's highest-priced apartments and condominiums will have to create affordable housing or write even bigger checks if City Hall pushes through an affordable housing ordinance expected to be introduced Wednesday.
     Changes to the city's 7-year-old Affordable Requirements Ordinance have some of the largest companies worried that their ability to build and build very profitably along the lakefront in highly coveted neighborhoods will be at risk.
     For the past seven years, developers of new or rehabbed projects with 10 or more units that either needed a zoning increase or were on city land had to make 10 percent of their units affordable for middle-income families. The requirement was 20 percent if the city provided financial assistance or if the project was within a tax-increment financing district.
     Most, however, opted instead to pay an in-lieu fee of $100,000 per required unit into a city fund used to build affordable housing elsewhere in the city.