Rent control push suffers setback
in Springfield

An Illinois House panel voted down a plan to lift state ban on rent control, but the issue isn’t dead yet
March 28, 2019 09:00AM

Rep. Will Guzzardi and the Illinois State Capital (Credit: iStock)

An Illinois House panel voted down a plan to lift the state’s ban on rent control, but the issue isn’t dead yet.

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary-Civil Committee voted 4-2 Wednesday against state Rep. Will Guzzardi’s bill to lift the state’s 22-year-old ban on rent control, according to Crain’s.

But the Chicago Democrat’s bill is only one of several introduced in recent years. Another pending bill from state Rep. Mary Flowers, also a Chicago Democrat, would end the ban, create regional elected rent control boards and impose a new “rent control registration fee” on landlords.

Realtor groups and other real estate industry organizations have mounted strong opposition to the efforts to lift the rent control ban, calling Flowers’ plan in particular “a disaster.”

Michael Mini, executive vice president of the Chicagoland Apartment Association and a leader of a coalition that includes building trades unions, praised the defeat of Guzzardi’s bill. It would, he said, “make the goal of providing additional affordable housing less attainable because it would reduce the supply and quality of rental units to select from.”

The movement to lift the ban has gained momentum in the last couple of years, spurred in part by soaring rents in some of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods, including some in Guzzardi’s district.

The two women vying to become Chicago’s next mayor on Tuesday have come out on opposite sides of the issue: Toni Preckwinkle says she supports lifting the ban on rent control, while Lori Lightfoot opposes it. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien