The Village of Park Forest will consider an item on Monday to add expand the definition of protected classes on its housing ordinance.


The second item [on the agenda] for action comes from Cook County. The Cook County Department of Planning and Development recently requested that the Village amend its fair housing ordinance to expand the list of protected classes to include parental status, gender identity, and housing status. The Village’s fair housing ordinance also must prohibit any activity that aids and/or abets housing discrimination, or retaliation against any person for the exercise of any rights under the Village’s fair housing ordinance, or the willful interference with the exercise of any rights under the Village’s fair housing ordinance.

Yes, I know Park Forest is making this move because Cook County wants it to happen.  However, keep in mind that Park Forest added “sexual orientation” to its housing ordinance in the 1980s, long before any other suburb in the Chicagoland area, and certainly long before most communities in the United States.  The measure passed publicly, without an bit of protest from the community or board members.  Park Forest has always been ahead of the curve.

It’s worth keeping an eye on Park Forest.