* One of the comments I heard the most from working-class people in the San Francisco area during my vacation was how they couldn’t afford to live in the region without rent-controlled leases. Their comments were all unprompted, by the way. With that in mind…
Rent control initiatives in Springfield were stranded when the 2018 regular legislative session ended on May 31, but landlords and property managers in Illinois anticipate a more aggressive push when the General Assembly convenes in January 2019.
“Housing Action Illinois and the other groups pushing for this will continue to work hard all summer and into the fall in preparation for next year,” Paul Arena, legislative director for the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, told Prairie State Wire.
Three of the four bills left hanging would have repealed the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997, which prohibits municipalities in Illinois from enacting rent control ordinances. A fourth bill would have established rent control boards on the county level.
State Rep. William Guzzardi (D-Chicago), introduced the repeal act in the House (HB 2430), arguing that rapid gentrification of some Chicago neighborhoods has made them unaffordable for many long-time residents. A majority of voters in some Chicago wards likewise favor repealing the ban, according to the results of a non-binding question that appeared on the March 20 primary ballot in those wards. And Democratic gubernatorial nominee J.B. Pritzker, who leads incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner in the polls, has said he supports repealing the ban.
* The Question: Should the state’s anti-rent control law be abolished? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.