So-called crime-free housing may be allowed in non-home rule areas.   A bill sponsored by State Sen. Thomas Cullerton would allow a provision called crime-free housing to non-home rule areas. Crime-free housing is a landlord leasing option that gives landlords and tenants safe housing access. Currently only areas with home rule are allowed to have to use it.
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“Crime-free housing is a three phase program that the municipality can enact in different levels based on licensing of landlords to follow the codes of crime prevention. It offers a lease addendum for crime that is enacted on their property, and offers an opportunity to remove criminal tenants and criminal activity,” Cullerton said.
Opponents of the bill cite a number of problems. The Illinois Association of Realtors and Illinois Rental Property Owners Association oppose the bill because the bill puts added responsibility to landlords.  Emily Werth of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says crime-free housing will victimize tenants. “Many crime-free housing ordinances require the landlord to evict all the tenants of a household where criminal activity has occurred, or the police have been summoned, in order to avoid being penalized. This routinely will include tenants who have been the victims of crimes in their homes, especially survivors of domestic and sexual violence, or who otherwise have sought help from the police,” Werth said.
The bill is still in a Senate committee.
(Copyright WBGZ / )