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Rent Control Fails in Springfield… For Now

Another year, another attempt by the far left wing of the Democratic Party to bring rent control to Illinois. Once again, the ringleader in this effort is State Representative Will Guzzardi (39th District), representing parts of Logan Square and adjacent areas of Chicago’s near Northwest Side.

This year, seven separate pieces of legislation all aiming to legalize rent control in some form were proposed. Of these seven bills, just two made it out of committee. These were:

  • HB 3104 (Representative Rashid, 21st District) proposes exempting manufactured housing from the rent control ban and would enable local municipalities to enact rent control restrictions for this property type.
  • HB 2727 (Representative Moeller, 43rd District) would limit rent increases in mobile home parks to 3% per year plus limited additional amounts specifically required for necessary property maintenance and repairs.

Neither of these bills was passed before the March 24th deadline and have both been sent back to Rules Committee.

It is interesting that the proponents of rent control were less active promoting their rent control objectives in this recent legislative session than they have been in past sessions. We can only speculate as to why, but one possible explanation is that these legislators might have made the political calculation to wait for results of the April 4th municipal elections, hoping to see more like-minded officials win races in and around Chicago, and even in the Mayor’s office itself. As we all now know, these legislators were not disappointed by the recent election results.

There is little doubt that renewed efforts to pass rent control in Illinois will be back.

At this point, all we can say for sure is that the risk of rent control becoming legal in Illinois in the short-term is low, but the risks going forward have increased considerably. Chicago and Cook County have more elected officials from the far left of the Democratic Party than at any time in memory. Governor Pritzker is a self-described Progressive, has stated that he believes local communities should have the right to set their own rules regarding rent control and that he would sign a bill that allows such local control – the Lift the Ban legislation that Rep. Guzzardi has been trying to pass for the past several years.

Rep. Guzzardi must believe his chances of getting rent control legislation approved in both the General Assembly and the Senate will be greater at the end of 2023 than it was in the just concluded session. There is little doubt that renewed efforts to pass rent control in Illinois will be back, if not later this year then surely in 2024.




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