By Todd Shields, Pioneer Press
On March 3, trustees are scheduled to again address amending the ordinance in a vote that would be binding.
The fair housing controversy in Glenview neared resolve Feb. 17, when trustees voted 5-1 to move toward amending a village ordinance that does not require landlords to accept housing vouchers.
The issue started in 2013, when Cook County approved an ordinance that prohibits landlords from rejecting tenants because they applied for or used housing vouchers.
At that time, Glenview passed an ordinance exempting property owners from the county requirement. Trustees said then that the issue needed more study, public input and would probably return to Village Hall for further consideration.
On March 3, trustees are scheduled to again address amending the ordinance in a vote that would be binding. The Feb. 17 vote was non-binding.
In August 2013, Chicago-area fair housing groups, such as Open Communities, Metropolitan Tenants Organization and Housing Action Illinois, sent a letter to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the County Board.
“Glenview’s actions demonstrate the kind of fear and ignorance that has characterized opposition to fair housing laws for more than four decades,” it stated.
On Feb. 17, local groups supported the Village Board’s vote, including the League of Women Voters of Glenview and Glenview Community Church.
Glenview Trustee John Hincamp cast the only opposing vote.
“It has to be fair for everybody, not just the potential tenant but also the landlord,” he said.
“As a child we lived in rental housing,” said Trustee Scott Britton. “Many people in this audience would not want me in Glenview. My father pulled himself up by his bootstraps and became a school superintendent.”
Trustee Philip White also voted to change the village ordinance.
“Low income people in this area do have a problem. They can serve our meals and cut our lawns, but it’s not OK for their children to have a first class education?” he posed. “Sometimes government has to get involved.”
Howard Handler, director of government affairs for Illinois Association of Realtors, who attended the Feb. 17 Glenview meeting, said he does not oppose the housing voucher program.
“(However,) we oppose compelling Glenview property owners to enter into a binding, non-negotiable contract with the government,” he said via email.
Handler also represents Mainstreet Organization of Realtors in Lake County and North Shore/Barrington Association of Realtors.
Village President Jim Patterson said Glenview might lose federal revenue, if the ordinance remains unchanged.
Patterson said he learned of the potential loss in a 2013 meeting with Preckwinkle.
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