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    Like most of America, Illinois is adversely impacted by a significant shortage of housing. The Chicagoland region alone requires tens of thousands of new apartments to satisfy our anticipated housing demand. The Chicagoland Apartment Association (CAA) recognizes an immediate need for the state legislature to continue developing strategies aimed at a balanced housing approach – policies that will encourage the construction of an additional supply of market-rate, affordable, and workforce housing.

    According to a comprehensive study from the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association, the Chicagoland area is expected to require 48,000 new apartments by the year 2030 to keep pace with local demand. Moreover, a new study just released from Up for Growthestimates overall housing underproduction in Illinois has reached 120,000 homes when factoring in the need for more single-family homes.

    Up for Growth cites the shortages created by housing underproduction are the highest in states where people are migrating in search of better jobs, education, and economic opportunities. Shortages affect affordability, and the nation’s housing affordability problem used to be concentrated mostly along the coasts, but the crisis has deepened and is now more widespread. Housing shortages and affordability issues are now affecting Midwestern areas, and the data says Illinois ranks ninth in the United States in terms of the severity of our housing deficit.

    The good news is that our situation is far from hopeless and there is reason for optimism here in Illinois. The General Assembly has taken a proactive approach responding to housing shortages and affordability by codifying significant measures to increase the development of affordable housing across the state. Industry leaders believe these efforts will be substantial and sustainable by creating new grant programs, tax credits, and financial incentives to increase the supply of affordable apartments. We remain vigilant in our opposition to any policies that work against the principles of bringing more affordable housing to our communities. Our mission is to help create neighborhoods for everyone in Illinois.

    As more apartments are constructed and occupied, a residual benefit is recognized through the growing demand for residential property management professionals. Now more than ever, the industry needs talented, hard-working individuals to help build strong communities. Our industry has opportunities including maintenance technicians, property managers, leasing consultants, and support professionals, all of which offer chances for advancement, job security, great benefits and more. There are countless reasons our industry professionals love their careers, and the opportunities will continue to grow as more housing units are brought to the market.

    The CAA and our SHAPE Illinois coalition (Support Housing Affordability, Progress and Equality) which includes partners from affordable housing groups, union building trades, and local elected officials, will continue working to encourage the growth of housing in Illinois. The latest research is clear, the affordable housing problem in Illinois is an issue of supply shortages and will only be effectively addressed by creating more housing. The new report from Up for Growth is critical in to encouraging lawmakers to continue supporting pro-growth solutions for affordable housing.

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