What is it?
The Safe Homes Act is an Illinois law that allows victims of domestic or sexual violence to end their rental lease early and leave their home to protect their physical safety and emotional well being. It does not matter if the lease is written or oral. In certain circumstances, victims can also request an emergency lock change to keep the abuser out of the home.
Before this law was enacted, a woman who was raped by an unknown assailant in her home could not end her lease early, and a victim of domestic violence could not change her locks to prevent her abusive boyfriend from re-entering her apartment.
What is its purpose?
To recognize that survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking face particularly dangerous and emotionally draining situations as well as economic consequences when they are trapped in rental housing that jeopardizes their physical safety or emotional well being.
Who can benefit?
Anyone, including children, who lives in private rental housing or subsidized housing, including "Section 8" Housing Choice Vouchers who has been or would be the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault or sexual abuse. The Safe Homes Act does not cover residents who live in public housing.