Evanston Residents Fight Ordinance That Would Legalize Rooming Houses

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Illegal rooming houses have become a hot topic in Evanston, as residents fight an ordinance that would eliminate the “illegal” aspect.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, resident Judy Koehler says 24-hour rentals have become big business on the Internet. Now, more and more neighbors in Evanston are advertising cheap overnight rentals.

“A neighbor moved in, started renting out rooms within her home and then also offering her entire house for rent on football weekends. We don’t need people renting out their rooms for tailgaters on a 24 hour basis,” she said.

Koehler says she is fighting a proposed ordinance that would allow such rooming houses.

“New York prohibited it. They shut it down. Evanston wants to legalize it and make a buck off of it,” Koehler said. “What the city is doing is they are creating this new distinction of a vacation rental home and it would allow any homeowner of a condo or a home anywhere in Evanston to rent out their home on a 24 hour basis. All they would have to do is give the city 250 dollars to apply for this license and change the sheets in between guests.”

Koehler says short term renters cannot be properly checked for criminal backgrounds or any history as sexual predators. The City Council tabled the issue for further discussion.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

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