Public Policy Meetings run Monday through Thursday

Illinois REALTORS® will gather at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria from Monday, Jan. 19 through Thursday, Jan. 22 for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®’ Public Policy Meetings.

The annual meetings are designed to give REALTORS® a voice in local, state and federal public policy issues and legislative battles that affect their business. Highlights will include the annual RPAC Auction on Tuesday evening and a presentation earlier in the day by Harvard University Senior Research Associate Jennifer Molinsky.

This year’s event will kick off Monday with an Executive Committee lunch meeting at 11 a.m., followed by meetings for the Finance Committee, RPAC Trustees and Association Executives. Each of Monday’s events are only open to members of each committee.

Activities for all registered participants begin Tuesday with registration at 9:30 a.m. and welcome at 9:45 a.m. See the week’s full agenda.

IAR leaders participate in inaugural activities at the Capitol

Leaders of Illinois Association of REALTORS® took part in a series of events over the weekend as the state prepares for a change in leadership.

Inauguration events will continue today and tonight as state constitutional officers are sworn in, including Republican Bruce Rauner. He will be the state’s 42nd governor.


Strong economy, business at the heart of Rauner’s plans

Illinois governor-elect Bruce Rauner addressed several hundred people Tuesday afternoon at a Springfield (Illinois) Better Government Association luncheon.

Although Rauner didn’t provide detailed plans about how he’ll achieve success as the next Illinois governor, his remarks about improving the financial situation of the state produced applause and laughter from those in attendance at the event, titled “Bruce, Budget Blues & BGA.”

Among his points:

  • He will run state government from Springfield and he will not accept a salary or a pension for serving as governor;
  • Following his inauguration on Jan. 12, he will create a short-term task force of leaders from education, government, business and labor, etc. to help identify solutions for the state’s financial crisis;
  • Although he will agree to short-term solutions, his long-term goal is to structurally change government and eliminate redundancies;
  • He believes that in order for social services to support citizens effectively our state’s economy must be strong and vibrant; and
  • He has a plan to help the state’s business community and for battling opponents of the business community.

“I love Illinois,” said Rauner. “We have to become a growth state again.”

Lake Forest latest to liberalize Accessory Dwelling Unit use

Howard Handler

The City of Lake Forest (Lake County) is the latest municipality to recognize the benefits of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), often referred to as granny flats, coach houses, in-law suites, garage apartments and cottages.

Lake Forest is home to many properties originally built with ADUs to accommodate domestic staff, but their use fell out of fashion and became prohibited over time.  However, communities like Lake Forest are starting to rethink allowing their use.

While testifying in support of relaxing ADU regulations, the North Shore – Barrington Association of REALTORS® (NSBAR) touted several benefits of ADUs, including, but not limited to:

  • expanding private property rights,
  • increasing property values,
  • creating more affordable housing options and
  • augmenting housing choice for the elderly and adults with disabilities who desire or need to live near their family while maintaining independence.

After careful study, the Lake Forest City Council unanimously voted to allow greater use of ADUs in certain zoning districts and under certain circumstances.

“The Village of Winnetka, in 2012, adopted an ordinance liberalizing ADUs, and now Lake Forest.  NSBAR proudly supported both ordinances, and we hope, over time, as the two communities become more comfortable with the concept, they allow even greater ADU use,” said NSBAR Government Affairs Director, Howard Handler.

Read more on Lake Forest’s effort here.

Want to learn more about ADUs and if they are right for your clients, click here.

Panel of economists discusses state’s economy with IAR

Economists met with IAR on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 to discuss demographic trends and how they apply to the real estate industry and the state's economy.

A panel of economists met with IAR’s CEO along with IAR Public Policy and Advocacy staff in Chicago to discuss economic shifts in the state and what they might mean for the real estate industry and the broader economy.

The meeting, held Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, looked at migration patterns, job growth and other indicators of how the state is faring in the post-Recession era.

Joining IAR were:

  • Dr. Geoffrey Hewings, director of the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.
  • Alexei Tchistyi, associate professor of finance and director of the Office of Real Estate Research, University of Illinois.
  • David Cleeton, Professor of Economics and Department Chair,  Illinois State University.
  • William Polley, associate professor of economics, Western Illinois University.
  • Curtis Dubay, research fellow in tax and economic policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Jason Horwitz, senior consultant with Anderson Economic Group in Chicago led off presentations with an overview of his research.

A report from the research being conducted by the economists is planned in the future.