New rent control bill introduced in Springfield; Realtors call it “a disaster”

Measure is latest development in a growing movement to lift the state ban on rent regulation

Chicago /
Feb.February 12, 2019 09:00 AM

Mary Flowers and Brian Bernardoni with Illinois Capitol (Credit: Wikipedia and Illinois Realtor)

A South Side Democrat is behind the latest effort to lift the statewide ban on rent control in Springfield, introducing a measure one real estate lobbyist is calling “a disaster.”

State Rep. Mary Flowers’ bill calls on the Legislature to lift the three-decade-old statewide ban on rent control, to create regional elected rent control boards and to impose a new “rent control registration fee” on landlords, according to Crain’s.

“It’s unconscionable the way rents are rising when incomes have been stagnating,” Flowers told Crain’s.

But Brian Bernardoni, senior director of government affairs and public policy for the Chicago Association of Realtors, rejected the proposal.

He called Flowers’ plan “a disaster.” Bernardoni once again put forward the industry’s position that developing more affordable housing and relaxing building codes to make development cheaper would better address rising rents.

Flowers’ bill is the latest attempt in Springfield to lift the ban on rent control, a movement that’s gained momentum recently, spurred in part by soaring rents in some of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods.

Nonbinding referendums on the issue in last year’s elections drew overwhelming support for lifting the rent-control ban. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien

 

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