East STL hearing

EAST ST. LOUIS – In her last stop on a statewide tour Thursday in East St. Louis, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) convened the Senate Special Committee on Housing to look for ways to address the lack of affordable housing and rising rent prices.

“During our tour we’ve learned that access to and availability of affordable housing is a challenge in cities like East St. Louis, Urbana and Rockford and in neighborhoods throughout Chicago,” Hunter said. “But with rising housing and rental prices, it is crucial that work be done to meet the need for more affordable housing now.”

Currently, Illinois is one of 35 states across the country with a rent control ban. Hunter discussed legislation she is sponsoring which would lift the 1997 ban on state and city governments enacting any measure that would regulate or control rent prices on private property.

Hunter’s measure would also establish six elected rent control boards, spread around the state, each composed of landlords, tenants and tenant advocates. The seven members of each board would implement and monitor local rent regulation. The bill also pegs annual rent increases to inflation and allows the regional rent control boards to establish the median rent for their areas.

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hunterCHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) held a press conference this morning at Harper High School to discuss a new plan to provide support to under-enrolled Chicago Public Schools.

“As we’ve seen in the news lately, CPS has been closing school doors without notice and leaving thousands of students without a neighborhood school to go to or require them to travel to a different, consolidated school,” Hunter said. “And the worst part is that CPS is making these decisions without engaging communities. That is unacceptable.”

Hunter was joined by State Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago), Cecile Carroll of Blocks Together and local CPS students and parents affected by recent school closure announcements. They discussed a new plan that was signed into law this past summer, requiring more long term planning, transparency for construction spending, community input and district collaboration to prevent inefficient and disruptive school closings. It also requires CPS to provide more notice and information on the status of schools.

“I am happy that my colleagues in the General Assembly recognize that we need to be fighting to prevent sudden school closures in Chicago,” Hunter said.  “When CPS closes a school, it affects us, our neighborhoods and our communities. The very least that CPS can do is provide more information to everyone, so that we can all work together to offer input and make the best decisions for our students.”

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9179430367 586ae919c9 b rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago 3rd) issued the following statement after police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second degree murder in the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald:

“I know I join many of you in breathing a sigh of relief that the officer who murdered Laquan McDonald four years ago was brought to justice today.

Nothing can take away the pain his family feels, and my deepest sympathies are with them.

Justice may have prevailed today, but we still have much work to do in improving the damaged relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

In the coming days and weeks, please be thoughtful about the small acts of peace and progress you can make. And I encourage you to sit down with your family, friends and community members and have conversations about how to improve the relationship between law enforcement officers and citizens of Chicago.”

Category: News

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CHICAGO – In her third stop on a statewide tour, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) convened the Senate Special Committee on Housing Thursday to look for ways to address the issues of lack of affordable housing and rising rent prices.

“It’s not hyperbole to say that we face a crisis,” Hunter said. “Skyrocketing housing costs affect our entire state and all types of communities. We know that the demand is great, and that’s why we’re on this tour to find new and innovative solutions to help preserve affordable housing options.”

More than 200 people attended the Senate Special Committee in Chicago to weigh in on lifting a statewide ban on rent control.

Currently, Illinois is one of 35 states across the country with a rent control ban. Hunter discussed her legislation which would lift the 1997 ban on state and city governments enacting any measure that would regulate or control rent prices on private property.

Hunter’s measure would establish elected rent control boards across the state, divided into six regions. The boards would regulate rent for households of specified income levels and could restrict annual rent increases to the rate of inflation. They could also create rules on how much notice must be given before rent is increased and would oversee the creation of a reserve account for landlords to pay for repairs and building improvements.

“Although this bill is focused on rent control, it is only one of the options that we’re pursuing,” Hunter said. “My overall goal with these hearings is to gather as much information as we can, so that we have all the tools we need to move forward, and craft a legislative solution that creates strong communities and expands access to safe, decent and affordable housing.

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