Just Housing - Effective Reintegration

Time Magazine’s 2014 article “From Big House to White House: Ex-convicts to be Honored by Obama administration” tells the inspiring story of 14 formerly incarcerated individuals who – despite facing obstacles upon their release – succeeded in turning their lives around.

The article identified jobs and housing as “the twin pillars of effective reintegration.”

Pertaining to the “pillar” of housing, Cook County (Illinois) Commissioner Brandon Johnson’s recent “Legislative Update” featured information about the Just Housing Act.

Commissioner Johnson, the chief sponsor of this ordinance, worked with a large coalition of housing and criminal justice advocates, landlords, tenant associations and realtors to ensure that justice, safety, and compassion are balanced. The legislation prohibits landlords and property managers from discriminating against people with arrest and incarceration records, although housing may be denied if there is a clearly demonstrable risk to personal or property safety. It passed the Cook County Board on April 25, 2019.

The Just Housing Act reflects Commissioner Johnson’s belief in “second chances and that every Cook County resident deserves access to safe, affordable housing, including the formerly incarcerated or those with arrest records.”