SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) that would help cities and counties address blighted properties was signed into law Friday.

“Blighted properties don’t just affect the lots next door. They damage the value of all homes on the block,” Stadelman said. “Giving our local governments the tools to fight against these properties will help revitalize our communities.”

The measure would:

  • reduce abandoned and neglected homes by helping municipalities intervene earlier through the court system to save these properties,
  • allow municipalities and counties to partner with land banks to maintain and manage vacant buildings so they can be saved, and
  • help people stay in their homes by reducing the cap on interest rates on unpaid property taxes.

“Sen. Stadelman recognizes the impact that blighted properties have in Rockford, and I appreciate all of his work in Springfield to help mitigate this issue,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Blighted properties decrease home values, drive away investment, and are havens for criminal activity. This bill makes it easier for municipalities to intercept dilapidated properties before they are beyond repair so that they can be rehabilitated and placed back on the tax rolls. My administration has taken aggressive action to strengthen our neighborhoods, and this bill we be a tremendous tool that can help the city in this work.”

“In most cases, local governments are responsible for maintaining or demolishing these deteriorating properties,” Stadelman said. “This measure provides solutions that will help our local governments tackle these issues and begin the restoration process in our communities.”

Senate Bill 1721 has been signed into law by the governor and takes Jan. 1, 2022.