July 5, 2023

Debi partnered with IJ in 2019 to challenge a compulsory eviction law in Granite City, Illinois. This law—referred to by the city as a “crime-free” housing ordinance—mandates that if you rent your home and any member of your “household” or even a guest commits a crime, then your landlord is required to evict you. In fact, your landlord can be fined and even lose their rental license if they fail to evict you.  

After Debi’s estranged adult daughter stole a van within city limits, Granite City set out to enforce this law and evict Debi, her husband Andy, and their two grandchildren who live with them. But Debi didn’t do anything wrong. In the early days of this case, we secured a preliminary injunction so that Debi and her family could stay in their home while the lawsuit proceeds. We’re still fighting to vindicate Debi’s rights and to affirm the basic principle that Americans cannot be rendered homeless as punishment for someone else’s crimes. 

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