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Rent Control Coalition Applauds Housing Committee’s
Advancement of Bill Legalizing Rent Control  

The Lift the Ban Coalition applauds members of the Illinois House of Representatives’  Housing Committee for voting to pass HB116 (Chief Sponsor Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-39)  out of the committee during a hearing on March 24. 

HB116 would lift the 1997 Rent Control Pre-Emption Act, allowing Illinois’ municipalities  to choose to enact rent control, a policy that limits the amount a landlord can raise rent  at the end of a tenant’s lease and has been proven to stabilize communities by keeping  families in their homes. The upcoming floor vote will be a referendum on whether Illinois’  Democrats choose to support working-class renters of color or the wealthy corporate  real estate lobby. 

Since 1997, the ban has prevented any Illinois city from stabilizing rents through rent  control. Half of all renter households in Cook County are “rent burdened,” paying more  than 30% of their income on rent. There is no legal protection against a landlord  raising a tenant’s rent by any amount. 

“In these trying times, our state legislators should give local municipalities every tool  that’s possible to stabilize and protect Illinois residents,” said Rod Wilson, executive  director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. “Protecting renters should take precedence  over protecting the real estate lobby and their price gouging of renters.” 

The Coalition looks forward to continued collaboration with legislative allies including  State Senator Robert Peters (D-13) to pass this legislation, and will continue the fight to  bring rent control to Chicago and communities across the state.