Housing and Human Rights

Sen. Kwame Raoul has built on the advances made in the sealing and expungement of criminal records legislation of the past several years by introducing SB3488. This bill will protect rights of those covered by this earlier legislation who seek access to housing.

It has become more likely that people with low level non-violent convictions will be denied housing as more landlords take advantage of easily acquired background information. However, in those instances where people have met the criteria established by legislation to have select Class 4 felonies sealed or certain misdemeanors either sealed or expunged, they continue to risk being denied access to housing. When there is a denial based on sealed or expunged records the injured party has no recourse.

SB3488 amends the Real Estate Transactions Article of the Illinois Human Rights Act. It provides that it is a civil rights violation to refuse to sell, rent or otherwise make housing unavailable to any buyer or renter due to the fact of an arrest or criminal history record information ordered expunged, sealed, or impounded under the Criminal Identification Act.

This bill deserves our support. We will be working toward its passage in the current session of the Illinois General Assembly.

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