* Illinois Public Radio…
Pet owners in Illinois that live in public housing often have to choose between keeping their pet and staying in a place they can afford. A proposed Illinois measure aims to prevent that situation from ever happening.
State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is sponsoring a bill requiring landlords in charge of affordable housing units to allow pets. At an event in Springfield announcing the measure, she explained everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of having a pet in their home.
“They influence social, emotional, and cognitive development in children and they promote an active lifestyle,” Holmes said. “They provide emotional support, improved moods, and contribute to overall morale of their owners, including the elderly and disabled.”
Landlords and property owners who receive tax subsidies for low-income housing would be required to allow tenants to keep common pets, which include domesticated cats and dogs, regardless of size, weight, or breed.
* Alex Nitkin at the Daily Line…
Cook County property owners would get an extra four months to pay delinquent taxes before their land is put up for sale under a state bill championed by county Treasurer Maria Pappas.
The bill (SB3356), sponsored by State Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Laura Murphy(D-Des Plaines), would delay the county’s annual tax sale until September, 13 months after second-installment property taxes are due. The existing law requires the county to auction off delinquent properties by May, giving taxpayers a nine-month window to make late payments. […]
Pappas expects to put up approximately 57,000 delinquent properties at this year’s tax sale scheduled for May 8, which owe approximately $188 million in unpaid taxes — a more than 50 percent increase as compared with last year, Pappas said.
“This is about the most vulnerable people in Cook County, and the numbers are getting worse,” Pappas said. “Something is seriously wrong. People need an extra four months to pay.” […]
The proposed bill gives the treasurer’s office a full year after the second installment due date to ask a judge for permission to sell delinquent tax certificates, after which Pappas has 35 days to hold the sale.
A proposal before the Illinois General Assembly would overturn half a century of resistance to granny flats, coach houses and other “accessory dwelling units,” paving the way for these lower-cost housing types to flourish in towns all over Illinois.
“We want to create more options for people to create affordable housing in their communities,” said state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who on Feb. 11 introduced HB 4869. The bill would prohibit any unit of local government from banning second living units on a residential property.
Advocates for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, which went out of favor in the years after World War II, say that bringing them back would put new, affordably priced housing stock where people want it—in established neighborhoods with good schools, transportation and shopping—rather than out at the fringes of the suburbs.
Gabel’s proposed legislation “is a huge step forward,” said Steve Vance, director of urban planning for MAP Strategies, a Chicago code and permit management firm. Vance, a longtime proponent of allowing ADUs, said that enabling them on a statewide level would show that “the need for lower-cost, smaller-size housing is everywhere.”
* Center Square…
Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would put mental health on a par with physical health in the state’s public schools.
Senate Bill 2473 would give students five days of excused absences per school year for mental health issues. Students would be able to make up any missed school work.
Steve Murray, director of counseling at Notre Dame Prep in Niles, said the bill was a step in the right direction.
He said the bill was a good start toward recognizing the extent to which children can suffer from issues like anxiety and depression.
“This is a recognition that these are on a par with the flu or a cold,” Murray said. “They need to be treated as real illnesses and treated as impediments to kids being successful in school.”