During an appearance on “Chicago Tonight” Thursday evening on WTTW Chicago, Illinois REALTORS® Local Governmental Affairs Director Brian Bernardoni gave several reasons why rent control would be bad for the city, the landlords and building developers. See the interview.
While the Illinois Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997 prevents Illinois municipalities from creating laws that would limit the amount that landlords can charge tenants for residential or commercial properties, some candidates for elected office and community organizers say they want it. While the stories of poor and low-income tenants being priced out of their homes are compelling, Bernardoni says the solution is complex and requires a different approach.
“Fundamentally, if you bring in rent control, which is up in referendums, as we know, in nine or 10 different wards of the city, that’s actually going to be a vote for a property tax increase at the end of the day,” said Bernardoni, who advocates for members of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and its West Towns chapter. “Rent control, if it goes into effect, will actually reduce the property tax base, thus increasing the property tax rate.”
Building more affordable housing, making building codes less expensive, changing zoning densities and enlisting the help of aldermen are better approaches, he says. Otherwise, developers and landlords will walk away from future development.