• Illinois Passes "Homeless Bill of Rights"
  • June 4, 2014
  • Law Firm: Heyl Royster Voelker Allen Professional Corporation - Peoria Office
  • Illinois joins a number of other states by enacting legislation that provides employment protection for the homeless. See 775 ILCS 45/10(West 2013).The Illinois law aims to "lessen the adverse effects and conditions caused by the lack of residence or a home." 2013 Ill. Legis. Serv. P.A. 98-516 (West).

    The new Act provides as follows: "[n]o person's rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged solely because he or she is homeless." 775 ILCS 45/10 (West 2013). The Illinois Homeless Bill of Rights seeks to protect people who experience the loss of housing from discrimination by creating a list of basic rights. These rights include the right to maintain gainful employment, the right to access emergency medical care, the right to access public spaces and transit systems, the right to vote on the same basis as other people, and the right to privacy of personal property, records, and information.

    Under this Act, the foregoing rights cannot be denied solely on the basis of one's housing status. If any of these rights are violated solely due to one's homelessness, that individual would have the right to take legal action and seek damages.