Chicago REALTORS® testify on potential impacts of ‘Just Housing Ordinance’ rules

Last Wednesday, October 23, three Chicago REALTORS® testified to the Cook County Board of Commissioners (CCB), advocating to preserve private property rights. CAR past president and current Illinois REALTORS® Treasurer Zeke Morris, EMA Realty and Management, CAR director Sarah Ware, Ware Realty Group LLC, and former CAR director Chris Pezza, Miller Chicago LLC, joined Illinois REALTORS® Antoine Bass, Antoine J. Bass in Matteson, and Bob Parris, Manchester Realty in Evanston, in urging the Cook County Board to protect the rights of property owners and  managers when establishing rules for the “Just Housing Ordinance.” The CCB’s Committee on Rules and Administration and the Cook County Commission on Human Rights (CCCHR) have proposed different sets of rules, trying to balance concerns of REALTORS®, landlords and housing activists with the Just Housing Coalition. The major differences between the two sets of rules were:
  • The Committee on Rules and Administration suggested limiting reviews of past convictions to five years while the CCCHR shortened the look-back period to three years. (CAR and Illinois REALTORS® suggested seven years.)
  • The CCCHR proposed that rental units be held off the market for 10 days while rejected applicants go through an appeals process, while the Committee on Rules and Administration suggested a shorter appeals process.
The Just Housing Ordinance was put in place to prevent potential tenants from being discriminated against due to their criminal history. We are not in opposition to the ordinance; we are in opposition to the proposed rules, which appear to be counterproductive and damaging to private property rights. On Wednesday the CCB’s Committee on Rules and Administration asked for a new set of rules so the issue could be resolved by Nov. 6. Thank you for helping make our voice heard! Learn more about the testimony via Illinois REALTORS®. Check out the Just Housing Ordinance Issue Summary. It’s not too late – ask your county commissioner to draft a set of rules that are fair and make safety on private property more of a priority.

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