Long time readers of this blog are well aware that I’m no fan of crime-free leasing addendum and landlord registration programs. You can add Bellville, Illinois to the list of communities that have or are considering such laws. Now, Belleville, Illinois (known as the “Capital of Southern Illinois”) is well outside of the geographic area I cover on this blog. (Please Bellevill-ites, no calls about landlord-tenant law!) However, this story caught my eye because of an interesting twist on the opposition to the law. The Belleville News Democrat has a story indicating that the ordinance was to be reviewed by the town’s housing committee yesterday, September 4, 2013, and if approved, will head to the ordinance committee on September 10. If passed by both committees, the law will be up for passage on September 16. What is pof particular interest is that, fair housing advocates are arguing that the law violates the Fair Housing Act.
Last week, the newspaper published an article that details the nitty gritty of the proposed ordinance. In that same article, the paper reported that “Most recently a national fair housing group has said the program could unintentionally harm victims of domestic and sexual violence by displacing them or deterring them from reporting crimes.” This is an interesting claim! Given the recent trend toward fair housing issues impacting landlords, I find it interesting that such laws would be the basis of a defense from these silly laws. I’ll be watching this one!