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IDHR Recognizes April as Fair Housing Month

Press Release - Monday, April 01, 2024

Governor JB Pritzker declares April as Fair Housing Month to promote equal housing opportunities


CHICAGO, IL — Governor JB Pritzker has proclaimed the month of April as Fair Housing Month in Illinois, highlighting the federal and state fair housing laws that promote fair and equal housing opportunities for Illinoisans across the state.


"Illinois is a leader in expanding housing protections to our most vulnerable residents," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Everyone deserves a safe, stable place to call home and I'm fully committed to promoting equal housing opportunities throughout the state."


Under the Pritzker Administration, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) has worked with the Governor's Office, members of the General Assembly, and housing stakeholders to expand housing protections within the Illinois Human Rights Act, which offers one of the most comprehensive sets of anti-discrimination protections in the country.


"Today, too many Illinoisans live in segregated housing and disinvested neighborhoods with poor access to resources and opportunity. Many others continue to face systemic and overt discrimination and may not even know it," said IDHR Director Jim Bennett. "We will continue with determination and focus to ensure everyone can access fair, affordable, and accessible housing."


To advance fair housing in Illinois, IDHR collaborates with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to coordinate the enforcement of state and federal housing anti-discrimination protections without unnecessary duplication of services.  IDHR's participation in HUD's Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) plays a key role in preventing discrimination in Illinois through outreach, training, and public information initiatives that help housing providers and consumers know their rights and responsibilities in the housing marketplace. 


"As we celebrate Fair Housing Month, let us recommit to the fundamental principle that every person deserves access to safe, affordable housing free from discrimination," said HUD's Great Lakes Regional Administrator Diane M. Shelley. "Together, let's continue our work to ensure that fair housing is not just a promise, but a reality for all."


This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), disability, familial status, age, ancestry, marital status, military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, sexual orientation, gender-related identity, pregnancy, order of protections status, arrest record, and the newest additions to the list—source of income and immigration status.


Public Act 102-0896 and Public Act 103-0232 amended the Illinois Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against a person based on their source of income or immigration status when renting an apartment, buying a home, applying for a mortgage, or receiving housing-related services. The Act also prohibits real estate brokers and appraisers from discriminating against a person based on these recently added protected characteristics.


"Having a place to call home is important to all Illinois families regardless of their source of income or immigration status," said IDHR Deputy Director Alex Bautista. "Illinois continues to be a leader in calling us all to fundamental fairness when ensuring everyone has a fair chance to secure a home they can afford without the anxiety of wondering if their veterans benefits, housing benefits, supplemental income benefits, or child support benefits will be respected as income."


Additionally, the proclamation recognizes that fair housing opportunities are essential to improving economic stability, community health, and human relations. The proclamation also highlights the role grassroots and non-profit organizations, housing service providers, housing professionals, financial institutions, elected officials, and state agencies play in ensuring that every Illinoisan can live where they choose to live.


"Although we celebrate and uplift Fair Housing Month in April, the work of fair housing is done every day of the year," said IDHR Director of Fair Housing Steven Monroy. "IDHR recognizes and appreciates the efforts that countless individuals, housing providers, advocates, grassroots organizations, industry leaders, and civil rights enforcement professionals make to ensure equal housing opportunity in Illinois."


In recognition of Fair Housing Month, IDHR is hosting a half day event on "Building Inclusive Communities: How Illinois' Source of Income Protection Expands Equity in Housing" with HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (Region V). The in-person event will be held on Monday, April 29, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Auditorium, 77 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604. For additional information, visit IDHR's event page at


IDHR will also offer training to property owners, managers, and industry professionals. This training discusses state and federal fair housing laws and outlines what laws need to be followed, what it means to provide equal access to housing, and what steps can be taken to ensure that housing providers have a process that is fair for all applicants. To sign up for the training on Wednesday, April 17, please visit


Any Illinoisan who believes they have been a victim of housing-based discrimination may file a charge with IDHR or HUD within one year of the violation, or in federal or state court within two years of the violation. To file a charge with IDHR, call (312) 814-6200 or visit 


Governor JB Pritzker's Proclamation is attached, and more information can also be found at

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