Victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, protected from eviction under planSPRINGFIELD – Victims of domestic violence and individuals with disabilities will not have to worry about losing their homes if they contact authorities for help under a proposal that passed the Senate today.

“The last thing a survivor of a traumatic assault or someone struggling with a disability needs to worry about is being evicted simply for calling the police for help,” sponsor State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said.  

Renters who contact authorities for help risk eviction in the more than 100 home-rule cities and villages that have implemented some form of crime-free ordinance meant to give more control to municipalities in addressing public safety concerns. Many of these ordinances have specifically listed triggers that could lead to an eviction, including numerous calls to law enforcement.

While the intent of crime-free ordinances is to deal with illegal activity, victims of criminal activity can be affected by the rules, especially in the case of domestic violence. Victims of domestic abuse aren’t always able to leave their homes immediately and are sometimes afraid to press charges, making it more likely they will have to contact the police more than once.  

Individuals with disabilities are also endangered by these ordinances, as someone struggling with a disability might need assistance from authorities more often than someone without a disability.

“We should not be penalizing renters with eviction simply for making legitimate calls for help,” Hutchinson said. “This proposal strikes a balance between the safety needs of victims and the responsibility of municipalities to address public safety in their communities.”

Senate Bill 1547 passed the Senate today on a 53-0 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives.

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