Member Call for Action issued; Stop Senate Bill 1380

The Illinois Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® has issued a Call for Action to help stop a bill in the General Assembly which could hurt property owners.

The Call for Action aims to stop Senate Bill 1380, which would allow municipalities to attach liens not only to property that was the subject of code violations, but also to non-offending properties owned by the same owner.

You can take part in the Call for Action here.

Municipalities already have the power to go after property owners who fail to meet local codes. IAR sees SB 1380 as an overreach which goes far beyond what is necessary to address code violations.

The bill passed the Senate May 12 by a narrow margin. It now faces a Thursday hearing in the House Cities and Villages Committee. Committee approval would potentially send SB 1380 to the full House for consideration.

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IAR’s Kinney tells House committee real estate market ‘rebounding’

IAR presented testimony on the state's housing market on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, before the Illinois House Committee on Economic Development & Housing. Testifying for IAR were (L to R) Policy Advisor Sharon Gorrell, President Jim Kinney and Director of Government Affairs Greg St. Aubin. They testified at the Stratton Building in Springfield, Ill.

IAR President Jim Kinney told members of the House Committee on Economic Development and Housing that Illinois’ housing market has dramatically improved since the recession.

But he warned Wednesday, May 20, 2015, that there are still many obstacles to making affordable housing readily available to those who want it.

“We have a rebounding housing market which has much promise,” Kinney told state representatives on the panel. “But to truly help Illinois residents achieve home ownership, we have to look at local, state and federal policies.”

Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, said the challenges for those seeking to buy a home exist at all levels.

  • Local home rule communities often layer on inspections, fees and other hurdles that can add to costs.
  • At the federal level, tight credit scoring and requirements for maintaining mortgage insurance can place a home out of a potential buyer’s price range, if they can get credit in the first place.

Citing research done by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Champaign, Kinney noted that in terms of median prices the state was about three-quarters of the way back to pre-recession levels.

The lowest median price recorded in recent history was $118,500 in February 2012, contrasting with March 2015 when the statewide median price is $165,000.

Kinney noted a study several years ago which showed the average home sale in Illinois has a direct impact of more than $28,000 to the state’s economy.

“The numbers show the promise — and the peril — of how public policy can have a broad impact not just on homeowners, but on the state as a whole,” Kinney said.

Kinney offered to testify at one of the committee’s future hearings on senior housing challenges. As IAR president, Kinney has formed a working group to review what can be done to meet the needs of this fast-growing demographic group.

“This dynamic will affect the state’s housing market and infrastructure for decades to come,” Kinney said. “As REALTORS® we take great pride in helping market a state we love. We are eager to work with policymakers at the local, state and federal level to make sure as many people as possible get the opportunity to live in Illinois.”

Also testifying with Kinney were IAR Director of Government Affairs Greg St. Aubin and Housing Policy Advisor Sharon Gorrell. The hearing was held in the Stratton Building in Springfield, Ill.

Dan Wagner Recognized as Commercial Liaison to NAR

Dan Wagner, IAR Board member. Photo: Inland

Congratulations to Illinois REALTOR® Dan Wagner, who was recognized as the 2016 Commercial Liaison to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) during the NAR Board of Directors meeting last week in Washington, D.C.

Wagner, senior vice president for government relations at The Inland Real Estate Group, is an Illinois Association of REALTORS® board member and is president-elect of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

As NAR’s Commercial Liaison, Wagner will play an important role in facilitating activities and communications between NAR’s Commercial Committee and NAR’s leadership team.