Illinois bill to combat homelessness passes


Sean Reed

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a press conference on April 4. The recently passed bill, “HB2831,” expands on Pritzker’s executive order to create a task force to combat homelessness in Illinois. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Rachel Cormier, News Reporter

DeKALB – A bipartisan vote of 50-2 Thursday passed a bill that would build on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s previous executive order to combat homelessness in Illinois.

Bill “HB2831” was passed in both Houses and was a win for the Supportive Housing Providers Association, a non-profit group that provides supportive and affordable housing services to individuals who have been homeless and/or have special needs.

“HB 2831 will expand upon Pritzker’s Executive Order creating the Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and reflect the legislature’s commitment in addressing the big picture issues of homelessness, institutionalization, and housing instability in Illinois,” said David Esposito, executive director of the SHPA.

Pritzker issued an executive order in Sept. 2021, to combat homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic when a study by the University of Illinois, called the COVID-19 Eviction Crisis Study, estimated 60,000 evictions were expected to occur in 2021.

The Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness, the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness and the Youth Homelessness Prevention Subcommittee were created to develop a state plan to address the possible increase in homelessness and to improve the health and human services for those currently experiencing it.

If the bill were to be signed, it would create the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness as well as specify roles and outline the responsibilities of the several councils and forces related to the task force.

It would outline that the State Homelessness Chief would chair the task force as well as co-chair the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness and be the lead role in Illinois’s other efforts to prevent homelessness.

The Interagency Task Force on Homelessness would also be required to implement initiatives and submit annual reports to the Governor and General Assembly to present their work and any improvements.

The bill’s final step will be getting signed by Pritzker to officially become a law.