Controversial crime free housing ordinance passes in Belleville

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- The new controversial ordinance passed with a 13 to 3 vote and while some were excited about the idea others say it`s a form of racial profiling of blacks in the city.

After almost a year of debate, ordinance 7715 a 'crime-free' housing ordinance was on the city council agenda Monday night, and it passed.

According to reports, the ordinance is like many across the Metro East.

It would force landlords to take a class to get a crime-free housing certificate. They also have to do a yearly registration of each unit for $25 per year.  That money along with funds from violations will be used to hire another housing department police officer and upgrade the police department's records management system. Belleville resident Rose Wilson says it`s a good idea, while lifetime local Rick Brown says it`s a violation of civil rights.

“Everyone is coming from all sides of town to get this passed including landlord,” said Wilson.

“It targets 66 percent of black pop in Belleville, only 27-percent of whites rent in Bellville. this is designed to target black renters, that`s the black renters. Belleville has a history of race problems,” said Brown.

Some alderman and residents demanded that the city hire more minorities.  One man said out of 300 plus employees only 24 are African- Americans. FOX 2 contacted Mayor Eckert about the issue and so far we have not gotten any response.