Lifting the Ban on Rent Control
Currently Illinois law prohibits any policy that would limit how much a landlord could charge for rent or even how much they can increase rent year to year. I fully support legislation that would lift those restrictions and give municipalities the option to decide how they protect their tenants and preserve their affordable housing stock. I firmly believe we need access to every tool possible legislatively in order to profoundly impact the housing crisis our city and state face, especially in light of increased demand from new arrivals and folks rent-locked by loss of jobs and wage stagnation.
For too long, cities like Chicago relied almost solely on property taxes to meet its revenue goals, this results in situations where long-time homeowners on a fixed income may be unable to pay rising property tax bills and risk losing their homes if their bills become delinquent. Recent state legislation created a task force to study and make recommendations on payment plan options in Cook County for delinquent taxes to be repaid in monthly installments. I would support legislation implementing these payment plans and recommendations of the task force. I would also fight to increase revenue sources that do not rely on working class homeowners.
Funding to Address Homelessness and Gentrification:
Over 109,000 people are experiencing homelessness throughout Illinois, living on the streets, in shelters, or doubled-up with friends and family. Illinois has committed to ending homelessness by increasing funding and coordinating state departments' work on the issue. “Home Illinois” provides a start, but more funding is needed for this growing problem, particularly for permanent housing. I believe we must continue to fund the line items that create a network of providers around the state who work to prevent homelessness, provide permanent supportive housing, and provide emergency and transitional services for youth and adults.
Existing legislation creating culturally designated districts which provide support to small businesses, and resources to promote the areas, was a great first step towards combating gentrification and preserving the cultural identity of Chicago neighborhoods. However, more work needs to be done to stem the rising costs of housing in the districts so that long-term residents don't get priced out. Supporting Lift the Ban and Property tax relief are two steps that I support that will help keep people in their homes.
I also fully support the Here to Stay Community Land Trust here in our district which provides affordable home-ownership opportunities to long-term residents. Unfortunately, the Land Trust was funded with one-time ARPA funds, I will fight for the sustainable, long-term funding it needs.