A bill introduced in Springfield last week takes the concept of opening up Illinois to rent control to a new level, laying out not only a repeal of the state’s ban but the establishment of rent control boards statewide, tax incentives for landlords to improve rental property and other measures.

“We tried to make something that would work for everyone including landlords, not only the renters,” said state Rep. Mary Flowers, 31st, who introduced H.B. 2192 on Feb. 7. “People are ready to try something new because it’s unconscionable the way rents are rising when incomes have been stagnating.”

The state’s Rent Control Preemption Act, adopted in 1997, prohibits the use of rent control by any municipality in the state, but for the past few years, housing groups, anti-gentrification activists and legislators have been waging a campaign to lift the ban. Large majorities voted in favor of lifting it in separate spring and fall referendums in Chicago last year.

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