CREW Chicago had a remarkable turnout for its April 13 luncheon. Tickets sold out completely for its presentation on The Future of Affordable housing: The Dollars and Sense of Policy Change, held at the East Bank Club, 500 N Kingsbury Street.
Multifamily is–and continues to be–a hot topic of conversation between industry professionals, business companies and the public, due to the growth of new construction being built around the city.
Luxury high-rise apartment towers tend to dominate construction activity within the sector, and while that continues, rent prices are also climbing the ladder. So where does one find affordable living?
CREW panel speakers, Sue Blumberg (moderator) with Northmarq Capital; Brian Bernardoni, Chicago Association of Realtors; Jacques Sandberg, Related Midwest; and Erin Spears, Fifield Cos, touched on today’s most popular questions: When, where and how is affordable housing economically feasible? And what social and economic factors come into play when initiating and implementing changes in public policies around affordable housing?
Recent changes to Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) have stirred up debate over the financial viability of residential real estate projects required to have an affordable component, as well as how these regulations might impact the long-term affordability of market-rate housing if tenants are also having to manage additional expenses.
ARO, as explained by Bernardoni, applies to new residential properties that see rezoning or refinancing in lieu fees.
The suburbs may see greater challenges as developers must navigate a wider spectrum of ordinances that vary by location.
The panel also examined the policies – old and new – that will shape the next wave of residential development. Topics included:
- Challenges and opportunities created by reforms to the Chicago’s ARO, including the broader impact on rents, land values and ground-up development;
- How the ARO dovetails with other policies, including Chicago’s new Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance;
- The ARO’s ability to generate 1,200 new affordable residences and $90 million in funding for low-income housing over the next five years, as projected by the city;
- Whether changes to Chicago’s affordable-housing regulations will impact policy in the suburbs
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