Illinois Could Force Statewide Legislation of Accessory Dwelling Units

State legislation would preempt local governments that block the construction of accessory dwelling units, known locally as coach houses, to increase the supply of affordable housing options in the state.

1 minute read

March 5, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Basement Apartment

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

"A proposal before the Illinois General Assembly would overturn half a century of resistance to granny flats, coach houses and other 'accessory dwelling units,' paving the way for these lower-cost housing types to flourish in towns all over Illinois," reports Dennis Rodkin.

Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) proposed HB4869 to preempt local governments that prohibit construction or use of accessory dwelling units—referred to in local parlance as coach houses. 

Proponents of the legislation argue that legalizing accessory dwelling units responds to a need for more low-cost, smaller size housing units. A December report published by Zillow, "estimated that loosening the restrictions on ADUs would make room for a quarter-million new housing units in the Chicago area," according to Rodkin.

While HB4869 has support from state legislators representing parts of Chicago, the city of Chicago has been unable to complete similar legislation in recent years. A recent attempt at a citywide ADU ordinance stalled as opponents expressed concern that ADUs would only be used for short-term rentals.

Monday, February 24, 2020 in Crain's Chicago Business

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