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May Meeting to Focus on Cook County's Just Housing Ordinance
Tuesday 28 May 2019, 06:30pm - 09:00pm
Contact Mike Glasser - (773) 491-1235, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Tuesday, May 28, 6:30PM-9:00PM
McCormick Lounge @ Loyola University inside Coffey Hall
1000 W. Sheridan Road
FREE for RPBG members. Guest Fee: Pay $30 online before 5/24/19.
$45 after 5/24/19.
At our May 28th meeting, we will be discussing the highly consequential Just Housing Ordinance (JHO) that the Cook County Board passed on April 25th. In my opinion, the Commissioners working on this ordinance offered the apartment industry scant opportunity to weigh in, except at the end of a lengthy process, despite the Ordinance's expectation that we implement it.
Those of you on the email list I use when I discuss topics about which I am hot and bothered will know that I am, uh, hot and bothered about this Ordinance, which prohibits landlords from inquiring about a prospect's criminal background until we conditionally approve them. In other words, this Ordinance offers a protected status to ex-offenders, many of whom feel that they are cut out of the rental market  by virtue of them having prior convictions despite them having already "paid their debt to society." Under this law, which is scheduled to take effect on October 25, 2019, housing providers must first consider a rental prospect based on other criteria (credit, employment, eviction history), and, only after we conditionally approve that applicant may we inquire about past convictions. Prior to denying that applicant based on criminal history, we must adhere to a process that the JHO outlines, the details of which the Board, in their rush to pass this Ordinance, failed to develop. Instead, they are leaving it up to their Rules Committee to figure out. (Thus, the six month lag time before enactment of the ordinance.)
Our Cook County Commissioner (13th District) Larry Suffredin (13th) co-sponsored the JHO,  assisting Freshman Commissioner Brandon Johnson (1st) who served as its primary sponsor.
I understand the spirit of this law, and I recognize that the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago have all instituted similar laws impacting employment - "ban the box" rules prevent prospective employers from asking about criminal background until they interview the prospect or conditionally hire them.
In the Housing realm, a 2016 HUD guidelines regarding disparate impact already requires us to be fair and balanced and avoid discriminatory behavior when considering criminal background. Leery of the practical challenges and legal risks that landlords and property managers will likely face when we are forced to follow this new law - issues about which we were improperly consulted - we seek to understand why the Board feels that this Ordinance will actually accomplish its goals, and, if they even considered the considerable costs and burdens it passes on to multifamily owners, condo owners and boards, and residential property managers.
Our Commissioner, Larry Suffredin, has always been a strong friend and supporter of the RPBG, and someone who for over four terms has been a strong advocate for our District (which includes Rogers Park and north Cook County suburbs) at the County Board level. Larry has ushered in many improvements to County government. I am thrilled that he accepted our invitation to attend this meeting, hear us out and explain what's going on.
Please think through how these proposed rules will alter your screening process. Check the following links to learn more about the JHO and the existing 2016 HUD Guidelines:

                The Amended Ordinance
I also cover this topic in my column in the upcoming RPBG newsletter, which we expect to release in coming days.

As always, our meetings will include time for networking, dinner, drinks.      
Our legislative partner, the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance (NBOA) was actively engaged in the 2019 Municipal elections and the organization itself was on the front lines in formulating our objection to rent control, and dealing with other State, County and City issues. In order for us to best advocate on our behalf, we need to keep our PAC funded. Please support our PAC and attend a fundraising event on May 23rd at the Lincoln Park Builders Clubhouse - $100. Register now.  

Our event theme (despite what our friends at EUBA say, I claim ownership): "Toss one back; support our PAC."
Finally, RPBG Members only - (in lieu of June meeting): Happy Hour June 13, 2019. More information forthcoming. (Directors only meeting on June 25th, location TBA.)  
Finally, save the date: NBOA Summer Soiree August 8th - and reach out to me if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, as several hundred real estate people are expected to attend this great event. 
See you on May 28th - and maybe on these other dates. 


Location McCormick Lounge at Loyola University Chicago campus


Rogers Park Builders Group
1708 West Jarvis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone/Fax: (773) 491.1235
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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  • PO BOX 608492, Chicago, IL 60660
  • (773) 491-1235