Two bills in the Illinois legislature this session will require air conditioning, or at least a common room with air conditioning, in buildings housing seniors.
Last May, when a heat wave sent temperatures in Illinois soaring into the high 90s, three older women living in state-subsidized housing died of heat exposure in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The three seniors, Delores McNeely, 76, Gwendolyn Osborne, 72, and Janice Reed, 68, were constituents of state Sen. Mike Simmons, D-Chicago. Two separate bills now aim to prevent these types of deaths,
Simmons sponsored a proposal that would require all state-funded affordable housing to have air conditioning. The bill passed the state Senate in March.
In March, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing Action Illinois found that Illinois is lacking 300,000 affordable housing units for the 443,746 poorest households in the state. For every 100 extremely low-income renters, there are only 34 affordable and available units, the report found.
The report defines “very low income” in the Chicago area as households that earn less than $31,250 a year for a family of four, and $22,000 a year for a single person. Many seniors on Social Security live on half of that, Palmer said.
Author(s): Zeta Cross
Publication Date: 22 Apr 2023
Publication Site: The Center Square