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Monthly Archives: January 2019

What is ARO- Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance?

*This information does not replace the counsel of an attorney.  There are a number of pending changes to the ordinance being considered by the Chicago City Council and substantive pieces of even this Q and A may be modified or nullified as a result.  Refer to the City Clerk of Chicago/ Housing for the most recent ordinance. 

What is the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO)?

The ARO is designed to economically blend rental or owner occupied market rate developments to allow for occupancy by qualified individuals or families at an affordable rate.  It impacts new or existing residential developments which add 10 or more units and require new zoning, city land purchase or city financial assistance.

How is affordability defined?

Affordability is defined in a number of ways.  For rental, housing that is affordable means a household earning up to 60% of the area median income.  For owner occupied housing, housing that is affordable means an applicant earns up to 100% of the AMI.  This changes if the subject RENTAL property is funded by TIF (Tax Increment Financing).  In that case the AMI drops to 50%; and for owner occupied it drops to 80% of AMI.  Units are required to remain affordable for 30 years. If the owner occupies the unit for a continuous period of 30 years the city will release the affordable housing agreement.

 

Getting one of these “affordable” apartments is  not easy and not everyone  can qualify.  It is possible to live in  a “luxury building”  in a  $2000  1 bedroom  apartment for under  $900!  BUT,  you must have great credit, usually  above  675  and  make under  $35,000  a year.  – and these figures will vary  from building  to building.

The demand for affordable apartments is off the charts  and not nearly  enough inventory  to keep up with the demand.  This is a complex topic and always changing.  Same  goes  for  the proposed  rent control bills.

I will try to cover more on the topic, in the near future!