Victory for Housing as a Human Right!

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Housing as a Human Right, SB 1780 (HFA3), passed the Illinois General Assembly on May 31 with significant bipartisan support! This legislation was an initiative of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois and will amend the Illinois Human Rights statute to protect people with records from discrimination when seeking housing in the state of Illinois. This legislation will now go to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Take action by thanking your legislators.

 
The vast majority of people with records have been denied housing because of their record. I’m a person with a criminal record who was released from prison over five years ago. Part of my success with securing meaningful employment is based on the opportunity for me to have stable housing. Without housing, I can honestly say that I could have been caught up in the cycle of recidivism. My success is due in large part to being able to meet my basic needs.
— Yaakov Delaney
On behalf of RROCI, Yaacov Delaney, CRS organizer for Restoring Rights and Justice Reform, gave powerful testimony in front of the House Judiciary - Civil Committee to support Housing as a Human Right. It passed out of committee 8-5!

On behalf of RROCI, Yaacov Delaney, CRS organizer for Restoring Rights and Justice Reform, gave powerful testimony in front of the House Judiciary - Civil Committee to support Housing as a Human Right. It passed out of committee 8-5!

SB 1780 (HFA 3) will bring Illinois’ law in line with the federal fair housing standards and align the rules for housing and employment under the Illinois Human Rights Act. This bill amends the Illinois Human Rights Act so that landlords can’t refuse to rent or otherwise deny housing to someone because they have an:

  • Arrest not leading to a conviction;

  • A juvenile record; or

  • A criminal history record that has been ordered expunged or sealed.

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Last fall, our RROCI coalition surveyed at least 400 people and found that housing was one of the most pressing issues for people with records. We think this bill is an important step forward in the effort to remove another barrier that hinders certain people from meeting a basic need.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the amazing people who make up RROCI (Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Community Renewal Society, and Heartland Alliance); our chief sponsors, Representative Curtis Tarver and Senator Omar Aquino; and all the folks who supported and played a role in this victory. Find out how your legislator voted for this bill in the house and senate.

Take Action: thank your legislator if they voted “Yes” and if they didn’t, let them know that you are disappointed.

 

Sincerely,

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Yaacov Delaney
Organizer for Restoring Rights and Justice Reform
Community Renewal Society