City of Chicago: Additional Dwelling Units applications open for housing expansion

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Applications are now being accepted for property owners to create more units on their properties.

A new ordinance passed last December by the Chicago City Council is an attempt to expand housing across the city.

The ordinance allows for additional dwellings in attics, basements and accessory buildings.

Full statement from City of Chicago:

"Applications open today for property owners in the five Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) pilot areas to create one or more additional dwelling units on their property. The ADU ordinance passed by City Council in December 2020, expands housing access across Chicago by allowing ADUs in attics, basements, and accessory buildings. Common names for these types of housing units include coach houses, backyard houses and in-law apartments.

ADUs were common in Chicago throughout the first half of the 20th century, but their construction was prohibited starting in 1957 due to changes in the zoning ordinance that added parking requirements and banned secondary residential structures on Chicago lots. Now, homeowners can create new units for extra income or for those who need separate spaces for multi-generational families. The ordinance also provides a path for the legalization of units that were previously built without zoning approval and building permits.

Building permit applications for an ADU must include plans prepared by an Illinois-licensed architect or structural engineer. The architect or engineer may submit the permit application directly to the Department of Buildings (DOB) or may work with a City-licensed permit expediter to do so.

For details about the pilot zones and to apply visit chicago.gov/adu."
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