Senate Ann Gillespie speaks into a microphone on the Senate floor.

SPRINGFIELD – To further prevent discrimination while looking for a place to live, State Senator Ann Gillespie passed legislation out of the Senate on Thursday that prohibits the consideration of immigration status during a real estate transaction.

“Those looking to rent or purchase property in Illinois should not be treated differently because of their immigration status,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “Putting these protections in place will promote fairness to ensure people are not unjustly denied housing.”

Senate Bill 1817 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to provide that it is a civil rights violation to consider immigration status when renting or selling property, including a refusal to engage in a transaction, receive or transmit offers, or negotiate terms of a deal. It would also prohibit a third party loan modification service provider from refusing to engage in loan modification services or altering the terms of such services based on a person’s immigration status. Inquiry or use of immigration status would still be allowed when required by either state or federal law.

“Housing is a human right, and everyone should have the opportunity to secure a safe home in which to build a better future for themselves,” Gillespie said. “We must make it clear that landlords or property sellers cannot deny a rental or purchase agreement based on where a person is from.”

The measure will now move to the House for consideration.