Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

Welcome to the Affordable Housing project page. Housing plays an important role in the fabric of our community and is topic with a wide range of ideas and opinions. As the City complies with the State's Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (AHPAA), we invite you to share your views and experiences on a variety of topics, including housing, by completing the survey below:


Your participation will assist in the City's efforts to adopt an Affordable Housing plan as required by the AHPAA. A draft will be available by the end of Summer 2023, and will be added to this page. Public review is planned for September 2023, the agenda for which will be available here.

During this process we invite you to revisit this page and subscribe to receive update alerts.

Park Ridge Housing FAQ

What is the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (AHPAA)?

It is an act passed in 2003 by the State of Illinois to address the lack of moderately-priced housing in many Illinois communities, the implementation of which has been delegated to IHDA.  This FAQ is current through Public Act 102-175, but there are additional amendments which may become effective later this year.

What is IHDA?
Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA): State agency that finances and preserves affordable housing. The Agency also oversees and allocates federate and state resources in the pursuit of this goal. For the AHPAA, the agency is charged with determining which communities are attaining compliance with the state’s affordable housing goals and, if not, whether they are adopting affordable housing plans.
What is MMC?
Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC): A membership organization comprised of 275 cities, towns, and villages in the Chicago area. The list of municipalities can be found here. MMC provides a forum where elected officials can collaborate on common problems and work towards common goals. Decisions and positions of the Caucus are advisory, and each municipality may act on the recommendation as they choose. Like most suburbs of Chicago, Park Ridge is a member of the MMC.
What is the MMC doing here in Park Ridge?

The Caucus has a number of staff members, one of which helps with Housing and Community Development Initiatives. The MMC and CMAP are providing technical assistance and helping in the affordable housing outreach and discussion and development of the affordable housing plan required by the AHPAA.

What is "affordable" housing?
The Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act defines affordable owner-occupied housing as that which costs no more than 30% of the household income for a household with a gross household income that does not exceed 80% of the area median household income. For rental housing, the standard is no more than 30% of the household income for a household with a gross household income that does not exceed 60% of the area median household income. This formula is established by the General Assembly in Springfield, the Governor, and the State of Illinois.

Example: For an area with a median household income of $74,621 (Chicago-Naperville-Elgin 2020 median), then an eligible household would earn no greater than 80%, or 59,696.80 a year. A household with a gross income of $59,686 would spend no more than $17,906 a year on owner-occupied housing expenses (e.g., mortgage, amortization, taxes, insurance, HOA fees, etc.)

What percentage of housing is "affordable" in Park Ridge?
According to IDHA’s Affordability List, last updated in 2018, 8% of the housing in Park Ridge is affordable. The 2018 report is available here. By reason of the City’s share of affordable housing being less than 10%, the State classifies the City as “non-exempt.”
Is it true that the State of Illinois has a law that requires non-exempt cities to adopt affordable housing plans?
Yes. The State strengthened the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act and gave the Attorney General power to enforce the Act’s obligations. (Public Act 102-175).
Do "home rule" suburbs like Park Ridge have to follow the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act?
The State strengthened the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act with a new preemption that supersedes home rule powers for communities like Park Ridge. (Source, Public Act 102-175).
What does the State require Park Ridge to do?

For non-exempt municipalities, they are required to adopt and submit an Affordable Housing Plan to IDHA. (More info in the 2018 AHPAA handbook)

Who publishes the affordability report? When do they update the data?

IDHA publishes a list of local governments with their affordability percentages approximately every 5 years. You can find the list here. It is anticipated the list will be updated in 2024.

So is an Affordable Housing Plan the same as the comprehensive plan?
As suggested by the name a comprehensive plan is comprehensive in nature and includes multiple topics ranging from community character, economic development, transportation, environmental, land use, zoning, and more. Comprehensive plans have been used since the 1920s to guide development and housing.

So, while housing is part of a comprehensive plan, an affordable housing plan is separate from the comprehensive plan and carries legal implications under Illinois law.

Does the City Council vote on this plan? What about the P&Z Commission?
Yes, State law requires the City Council to adopt a plan after hosting a public hearing.

No, the Planning and Zoning Commission does not need to be involved as the affordable housing plan does not change local zoning rules or regulations and is not necessarily part of the Comprehensive Plan.
How can I participate?
By responding to a survey, and attending public meetings. When the agenda for such meetings become available they are posted on the City’s website, accessible here.


What is the project timeline?
A draft plan will be available by the end of the summer 2023, and public review is planned for September 2023.
Does preserving existing housing count towards affordability?
Much of the time, yes. Preserving existing housing that is deemed “affordable” may contribute to overall affordability but it does not guarantee it necessarily. Ultimately housing that may be affordable today is still subject to market forces and housing price fluctuation.
Is this about all of the teardowns of smaller, more historic homes?
No, not directly. Tear downs can impact affordability but ultimately the municipality must comply with State law by filing an adopted plan.
What does a typical housing plan consist of, and do you have examples from other suburbs?
At a minimum, the plan should contain:

  • Total number of affordable housing units required by the reporting municipality based on the AHPAA Local Government Exemption Report published by IHDA.
  • Identify lands within the municipality most appropriate for the construction of affordable housing.
  • Incentives the municipality may provide to attract affordable housing.
  • Selection of one of three (3) goals:
    • Minimum 15% of all new or redevelopment to be affordable
    • Require minimum of 3% point increase in overall percentage of affordable housing in the municipality
    • Require a minimum of 10% affordable housing within the municipality

(Source 2018 AHPAA Handbook)

The structure of the plan is provided by State law although the policymaking decisions are ultimately up to the Park Ridge City Council.