February 25, 2022 State Capitol Report

Call for Action – Make Your Voice Heard Act Now!


Makes Housing Choice Voucher Program MANDATORY

On Thursday, February 24th, a CALL FOR ACTION went out to alert all REALTORS® of HB2775, which could be decided on as early as next week and we are asking you to contact your SENATOR NOW.

HB2775 (Rep. LaShawn Ford – 8th, Chicago/Senator Ram Villivalam, D-8th, Chicago) would MANDATE all rental housing providers to participate in ANY local, state, federal or private subsidy or assistance program, and comply with the requirements and restrictions of those programs, if an applying tenant qualifies for those programs. This is a HUGE expansion of what the legislation has historically called for in the past.  Mandatory participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP- commonly referred to as “Section 8”) has been the intended scope in legislation introduced for several years and has been aimed to mirror existing Chicago and Cook County ordinances. This version of the bill would greatly expand the mandate in Chicago and Cook County and establish the broad mandate to the rest of Illinois. This expanded mandate would, for example, make the current Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was intentionally designed as a voluntary program, MANDATORY for landlords to participate in. If passed, HB2775 would make discrimination based on a person’s “source of income” a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act, and therefore a violation of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. “Income” could be ANY local, state, federal, or private housing assistance and it is unknown just how many programs this could apply to. For the Housing Choice Voucher program specifically, HB2775 would require landlords to use a HUD- dictacted lease and be subject to “at-will” inspections. Mandating this program would also:

  • Provide new rules regarding rent increases
  • Further erode rental housing market
  • Create unknown and potentially unreasonable requirements in other now-required local, state, federal, private programs.

The Illinois REALTORS® strongly OPPOSE HB2775. We support the Housing Choice Voucher Program and believe that the program is very advantageous for both landlords and tenants in many circumstances, but it was never designed to be mandatory. Last Spring, HB2775 narrowly passed the House and it could be called in the Senate at any moment. If you have not already done so, do not delay and please click on the “Send A Message” button to ask your Senator to vote “NO” on HB2775!

This Week in Springfield

Following last week’s extremely full committee schedule, the House and the Senate returned to Springfield and continue to target an April adjournment date. This week saw more floor action in both chambers than previous weeks as the session days begin to ramp up. The House will return next week as it is a deadline week for House bills to be voted on and sent to the Senate. The Senate will not be in Springfield next week. The vast majority of active bills of interest for the Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team remain in the committee process, below are the highlights of legislation that was discussed this week.

HB4158 (Rep. Croke, D-12th, Chicago) Introduced in response to the tragedy in Surfside, Florida last year, HB4158 makes an addition to the list of required documents, “any reserved study” that condo associations must maintain and make available to its residents, if and when a reserved study has been conducted. HB4158 passed the House with a vote of 98-10-1 and will now be sent to the Senate.

This week the Fiscal Year 2023 Revenue Estimates were released and discussed in the House Revenue and Finance Committee and heard testimony from the Department of Revenue. The Committee did not take any votes. It was reported that Fiscal Year 2021 was a positive year in terms of revenue and Fiscal Year 2022 is shaping up to have similar positive outcomes. The Department of Revenue also reported that they are finalizing their audit manual and that the manual will be published on their website in the coming days.

At A Glance

Your Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team continue their hard work with legislators on negotiating and amending bills to remove our opposition. As reported on last week, our engagement covers a wide range of topics including seller disclosure additions, electric vehicles charging infrastructure, nuisance greenery, mold measurement, assessments, vacancy and more. The Illinois REALTORS® highly anticipate being actively engaged on those issues in the coming week. Below is a recap of the bills in committee that are of high priority and will continue to have REALTORS® input. Most importantly, we will continue to OPPOSE HB 2775 Source of Income Mandate (see above).

HB4374 (Rep. Didech, D – 59th, Buffalo Grove) The Vacancy Fraud Act would allow for the Cook County Assessor’s office to file a vacancy fraud complaint if a commercial property is receiving vacancy relief and the property owner is not actively attempting to sell or lease the property. This act states that any property owner in Cook County that received a property tax reduction, due to the property’s vacancy, and is not actively trying to sell or lease the property is committing fraud and will be subject to considerable penalties and fines. The Illinois REALTORS® OPPOSE the bill as written and are currently working with the bill’s sponsor and stakeholders to narrow the scope of this legislation’s intent. Currently, Cook County assesses commercial property based on a “market corridor” and not by an individual property’s value and any “vacancy relief or reduction” is only considered through “extraordinary” circumstances, such as a fire or flooding disaster.  Commercial property owners must then submit an affidavit to the Cook County Assessor’s office to claim that “extraordinary” circumstances have occurred to receive a reduction in their assessment. The Illinois REALTORS® are working to have the focus be only on the sworn affidavits for “extraordinary” circumstances, any language that does not only and specifically address that program will continued to be OPPOSED by the Illinois REALTORS®. A new amendment and language are expected soon.

HB5412 (Rep.Evans, D-33rd, Chicago) Negotiations continue on this bill that would require general contractors pay subcontractor’s employee wages when a subcontractor defaults on payments to employees. Therefore, ANYONE (including REALTORS® and homeowners) who choose to be the general contractor would be liable for unpaid wages and in essence, would be required to pay double for the work.

HB4605 (Rep. Gong-Gershowitz, D-17th, Glenview) Initially the bill would have codified the Federal Housing Act into Illinois Human Rights Act. The Illinois REALTORS® opposed including the undefined and ambiguous term “make unavailable” because it would have caused confusion regarding human right’s violations for licensed real estate brokers. The Legislative Team appreciates the sponsor and the Illinois Department of Human Rights working with us. The bill is on 2nd Reading in the House.

HB4786 (Rep. Stava Murray, D-81st, Downers Grove) Meetings were held with the sponsor on this bill that seeks restrict landlords from requiring only electronic transfers for rental payments and not allowing other means of payment. The sponsor reported that the Attorney General wants to add an amendment to her bill removing penalty fee caps for landlord violations.  The bill is on Second Reading in the House.  The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team will now be opposing this bill if amended and will be reaching out again to the sponsor and Attorney General.  Stay tuned for updates.

HB4939 (Rep. Kifowit, D-84, Aurora) The bill would require landlords to pay for mold tests and the removal of mold if found in Senior-living residences. We OPPOSE this bill in its current form because no standards exist to measure mold.  The sponsor has pledged to work with the Illinois REALTORS® on this issue. The bill is on Second Reading in the House.

HB5131 (Rep. Stava Murray, D-81st, Downers Grove) Meetings continue to take place with the sponsor on this bill that seeks to add another item to the residential real estate disclosure form to require sellers to disclose if they are aware of unsafe concentration and/or unsafe conditions due to mold on the premises. The Illinois REALTORS® OPPOSE this bill. Unfortunately, mold is everywhere and as mentioned above, no state or federal standards exist for the measurement of mold. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team is diligently working to find an agreed resolution on this bill.

The 102nd General Assembly will continue to ramp up in activity for the next several weeks and for continued coverage of everything happening at the Capitol that affects the real estate industry and private property rights, stay tuned!

Thank you for reading the February 25, 2022 State Capitol Report. Click here to read previous reports.

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April 25, 2023