Each year, Housing Action Illinois works on a broad range of issues aligned with our core mission of creating an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable place to call home. Below are some of our successes from the 2024 Illinois General Assembly session, as well as bills advocated for by our partners that will protect renters and homeowners, help prevent and end homelessness, and expand opportunities for community development. These are all measures that we believe will help families and communities across Illinois to thrive.

 

State Budget Creates New Record Investment in Ending Homelessness

The General Assembly demonstrated a strong commitment to preventing and ending homelessness by appropriating $290.3 million for the HOME Illinois line item. This is a $90 million increase, $40 million more than Governor Pritzker’s proposed amount, and only slightly below the $292.5 million requested by Housing Action Illinois and our allies.

The majority of the increased funding will go toward the Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP), a program that prevents evictions and keeps people housed. This program was originally created with federal American Rescue Plan Act resources, but those funds will soon be fully exhausted.



CBRAP provides up to $10,000 in funding to Illinois tenants and landlords who have pending cases in eviction court. This assistance may cover up to 18 months of emergency rental payments, including up to two months of future rent payments to prevent eviction.Through early March 2024, CBRAP prevented the evictions of almost 8,500 households across the state with an average rent payment of about $7,700.

The HOME Illinois line item will also fund a new $13 million initiative to support a variety of new uses of funds that will reduce racial disparities in homelessness rates, including a new transitional housing and rapid rehousing programs to support returning citizens. The importance prioritizing this is clearer than ever, as research continues to show that in Illinois, our Black residents are almost 8 times more likely to experience homelessness than white residents,

In addition to the increase in HOME Illinois funding, the budget also includes an additional $5 million to support implementation of the “one system initiative.” This is a plan to create a coordinated crisis response system that serves everyone well, regardless of how long they’ve lived here, what language they speak, or why they are experiencing homelessness.

The total new investment of $95.3 million towards the HOME Illinois plan breaks last year’s record one-time investment of state funds to prevent and end homelessness.

While these funding increases are crucial to make progress towards reaching functional zero homelessness in Illinois, other priorities were not funded. Additional resources are still needed to strengthen and expand the availability of emergency shelter, prevention and rapid rehousing resources, homeless youth programs, and supportive housing.

Illinois Community Reinvestment Act Ready to Launch

On May 1, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules finalized the rules for the Illinois Community Reinvestment Act (IL CRA). Housing Action co-facilitates the IL CRA Coalition with the Woodstock Institute, and we are grateful to our partners for joining us in three years of advocacy to shape these rules. Now, we will focus on public education and engagement to ensure that the law successfully incentivizes state-regulated financial institutions (banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders) to meet financial needs in areas that lack access to affordable banking and lending services.

We also successfully advocate for state legislation, SB 3235, to require the Commission on Equity and Inclusion to complete a critical study on disparities in who is served by financial institutions covered by the IL CRA. The study will analyze disparities based on race and other personal characteristics covered under the Illinois Human Rights Act with respect to access to financial products and services, lending, and investments. The legislation also empowers the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to propose future rules to use the study’s findings as part of the IL CRA examinations process of regulated financial institutions. The state budget contains a $250,000 appropriation to complete the study. Thanks to our chief sponsors, Senator Christopher Belt and Representative Sonya Harper.

Property Tax Payment Plan Task Force Completes its Work

 Following up on legislation passed last year, in March 2024 the Property Tax Payment Plan Task Force, which we served on, completed its report. The Task Force’s purpose was to study and make recommendations for the implementation of one or more payment plan options in Cook County to prevent eligible tax-delinquent owner-occupied properties in those counties from being sold at the annual tax sale. Since completion of the report, we have been working with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and others to support efforts by the Cook County Treasurer to create payment plan resources that we hope will be launched later this year. Thanks to co-chairs of the task force, Senator Robert Peters and Representative Debbie Meyers-Martin, as well as all our fellow task force members.

More Good Bills that Passed

Tenant Protections

  • House Bill 4206: Requires landlords to provide an additional means to pay rent when electronic payment methods charge additional fees.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Hona Huynh and Senator Rachel Ventura
  • House Bill 4467 and Senate Bill 2834: Contains complementary provisions strengthening protections for residents of manufactured home parks by strengthening licensing and oversight requirements for park owners, including making clear that an unlicensed park owner cannot evict residents for non-payment of rent. Advocated for the Manufactured Home Owners Association of Illinois (MHOAI).
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Laura Murphy, Senator Cristina Castro and Representative Anna Moeller
  • House Bill 4768: Replaces a longstanding weak state law with new state provisions against retaliatory eviction. Defines prohibited actions and provides specific legal remedies for tenants whose landlord is accused of retaliating against them, including, but not limited to, requesting repairs and organizing a tenant association. Advocated for by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Will Guzzardi and Senator Karina Villa
  • House Bill 4926: Prohibits a landlord from charging a prospective tenant an application screening fee if the prospective tenant provides a reusable tenant screening report that meets certain criteria.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Anna Moeller and Senator Sara Feigenholtz
  • Senate Bill 2601: Requires disclosure of potential flooding in rental and lease agreements in lower level units based on specific definitions and other provisions in the law.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Mike Porfirio and Representative Abdelnasser Rashid
  • Senate Bill 2935: Creates notice and right of first refusal requirements when a mobile home park owner offers a park for sale.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Steve Stadelman and Representative Dave Vella
  • Senate Bill 3351: Amends the Subsidized Housing Joint Occupancy Act. Provides that an elderly parent with an adult child with disabilities of the opposite sex shall not be required to occupy subsidized housing with only one bedroom.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Laura Ellman and Representative Terra Costa Howard
  • Senate Bill 3652: Requires the Illinois Department of Human Rights to create a summary form advising tenants who have suffered domestic violence or sexual violence of the rights that they have under Illinois law that provide protection in their ability to have safe housing. Requires landlords to attach a copy of the summary as the first page of any written residential lease entered into with a tenant. Advocated for by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Robert Peters and Representative Theresa Mah

Homeowner Protections

  • House Bill 4141: Clarifies that households that receive rental assistance are eligible for energy assistance programs if the energy costs are paid by the owner, as long as the energy assistance payments are also paid on behalf of the property owner.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Nabeela Syed and Senator Ram Villivalam
  • House Bill 5357: Amends the Illinois Insurance Code to strengthen notice requirements regarding existing coverage and availability of homeowners insurance covering loss caused by a sewer backup or overflow from a sump pump.
    Representative Lisa Hernandez and Senator Napoleon Harris
  • House Bill 5502: Amends the Condominium Property Act. Provides that in a sale of a condominium unit by a unit owner, no condominium association may exercise any right of refusal, option to purchase, or right to disapprove the sale: (i) on the basis that the purchaser’s financing is guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration; or (ii) for a discriminatory or otherwise unlawful purpose.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Dan Didech and Senator Ram Villivalam
  • Senate Bill 2740: Strengthens state law regarding requirements for accessible parking spaces in condominium associations. Advocated for by Access Living.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Dan McConchie and Representative Kelly Cassidy
  • Senate Bill 3551: Regulates “shared appreciation agreements,” aka “cash for equity” products, that are often predatory by providing homeowners with immediate funds in exchange for an ownership interest in the home. Among other provisions, people applying for these products will be required to receive HUD approved housing counseling before deciding whether to finalize the agreement.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Sara Feigenholtz and Representative Margaret Croke
  • Senate Bill 3420: Creates the Prohibition of Unfair Service Agreements Act to protect current and future owners of residential real estate. These prohibited agreements include Non-Titled Recorded Agreements for Personal Services, known as NTRAPS, through which the homeowner is offered a small amount of money in exchange for giving the NTRAPS provider the right to list the property for future sale. Homeowners who later try to sell their property outside of this agreement or transfer the title can face costly penalties.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Ann Gillespie, Senator Don Harmon and Representative Terra Costa Howard

Preventing and Ending Homelessness

  • House Bill 5407: Makes multiple changes to state law so that funding for school districts serving students experiencing homelessness and their families is better targeted to school districts with the most needs and provides more options for the uses of this funding. Advocated for by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Michelle Mussman and Senator Adriane Johnson
  • House Bill 5564: This bill did not pass, but the provisions of the bill were included in the budget implementation legislation. Increases the percentage of Homelessness Prevention funding that a provider can spend on administration and case management from 15% to 20% so that providers can better cover the costs of the program. Advocated for by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Lilian Jimenez and Senator Laura Fine
  • Senate Bill 3297: Lowers the age of eligibility for a Housing is Recovery bridge rental subsidy if they are otherwise eligible from 21 to 18 years of age.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Mike Simmons and Representative Maurice West

Housing and Community Development

  • House Bill 1377: In Cook County and other counties that opt-in, creates a new homestead property tax exemption to encourage local governments to redevelop vacant and abandoned properties into owner-occupied single family homes.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Norma Hernandez and Senator Kimberly Lightford
  • House Bill 4582: As part of the bonding authority omnibus bill, bonding authority for the Illinois Housing Development Authority was increased from $7.2 billion to $11.5 billion.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Robert “Bob” Rita and Senator Don Harmon
  • Senate Bill 2936: Provides that the abatement for property located in an area of urban decay also applies to newly remodeled single-family or duplex homes, not just newly constructed units.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator David Kohler and Representative Ryan Spain
  • Senate Bill 3209: Clarifies that a partnership between two nonprofits to operate permanent supportive housing is eligible for a charitable property tax exemption. Advocated for by the Illinois Housing Council.
    Chief Sponsors: Senator Karina Villa and Representative Tracy Katz Muhl

Fair Housing

  • House Bill 4951: Revenue omnibus legislation, including provision extending Housing Opportunity Tax Abatement Program to incentivize rental property owners in certain low poverty census tracts to rent to people using Housing Choice Vouchers.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Kelly Burke and Sentor Celina Villanueva
  • House Bill 5371: Makes multiple changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act, including aligning definitions and bringing state law into substantial compliance with federal fair housing law. The bill also strengthens relief in discriminatory pattern-and-practice determinations. Read this press release from Illinois Attorney Kwame Raoul for more information.
    Chief Sponsors: Representative Ann Williams and Senator Laura Fine

      We encourage Governor Pritzker to sign all the state legislation summarized here into state law.