Help is coming for organizations that provide affordable housing to at-risk veterans, thanks to legislation passed by State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason). Her legislation unanimously passed the Senate on April 9th.

The 2023 Electric Vehicle Charging Act requires all new affordable housing developments to include EV-capable parking spaces. After the Act’s enactment, the Central Illinois Veterans Commission (CIVC), which builds affordable tiny homes for homeless veterans, feared the new regulations could make their venture to assist at-risk veterans unsustainable.

“The tiny homes that the Central Illinois Veterans Commission provides are no more than 800 square feet and are completely built through volunteer efforts,” said Sen. Turner. “The requirements of the Electric Vehicle Charging Act may have come from a place of good intentions, but they also created unintended harm and expenses that threatened the Commission’s continued efforts to combat veterans’ homelessness.”

In response to the CIVC’s concerns, Sen. Turner introduced Senate Bill 2597, which stipulates that the Act’s provisions do not apply to tiny homes designated for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, provided these homes were funded and constructed by qualified non-profit organizations.

“The CIVC is currently working to build six more tiny homes in the coming months, but we had serious concerns about our ability to afford the EV requirements,” said CIVC Director Joe Schaler. “I would like to thank Senator Turner for her efforts to ensure that we can continue to provide affordable housing opportunities for at-risk veterans.”

Senate Bill 2597 passed out of the Senate with a 54-0 vote and will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

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