In two 2018 referendums, Chicago voters supported eliminating Illinois’ statewide ban. But the movement has few friends among the candidates to replace Rahm Emanuel, according to a real estate group’s survey and candidate forum.

An effort to lift Illinois’ ban on rent control has the support of only a small number of the Chicago mayoral candidates.

At a forum hosted by the Chicago Association of Realtors, the question of lifting the ban was first on a scorecard that tabulated candidates’ answers to CAR’s survey. Of the nine candidates who replied to the survey, five said they oppose lifting the ban; only two said they want it lifted.

Of the two remaining, one said he is reviewing the issue and another said she doesn’t think rent control is the issue the city needs to address at the moment.

Since 1997 Illinois law has prohibited municipalities from legislating rent control. In the past year, activist groups, aldermen and others have been campaigning to have the law changed, seeing that as the first step toward instituting rent control in Chicago to keep rentals affordable. In each of two nonbinding referendums in different parts of the city in March and November, lifting the ban received more than 60 percent of the vote.

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