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IDHR and Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic Release Public Safety and Fair Housing Guidebook

Professors Michael P. Seng and Allison Bethel, along with the students and staff of the Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic have authored and released the “Fair Housing Implications of Nuisance and Crime-Free Ordinances: A Guide for Units of Local Governments” in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

The guidebook provides historical context to nuisance and crime-free ordinances and describes how these polices, when overly broad, can produce results that unduly penalize housing providers and tenants, and can run afoul of state and federal fair housing laws. Overbroad ordinances often require housing providers to impose adverse actions on tenants—including denying housing, evictions, fines, or issuing other penalties—whenever law enforcement is involved regardless of the reason.

"We commend IDHR for partnering with our Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic to publish this guidebook," said UIC Professor Michael Seng. "The guidebook will help local
governments, housing providers, existing tenants, housing applicants, and communities maintain public safety and establish healthy living environments that comply with the fair housing laws."

“The guidebook contains critical information that explains the delicate balance between furthering public safety and protecting Illinoisans' access to fair and affordable housing” said UIC Professor Allison K. Bethel. “The information we researched provides housing stakeholders a collaborative framework that protects peoples’ civil rights.”

This guidebook was made possible through funding obtained from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is available on IDHR’s website.

A full press release is available to read via the IDHR