Belleville to enact new housing law on Jan. 1

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Belleville has made a change in its city ordinance regarding temporary housing. The Belleville News-Democrat reports city leaders approved a new law that will require anyone staying in a motel for more than 30 days to get an occupancy permit. Tenants must pay $50, have the room inspected and list the names and birthdays of anyone living with them. Units will be added to the city’s Crime Free Housing Program. Owners of the applicable units will have to take a course on crime and property management, pay $25 for those rooms and perform criminal background checks on tenants. Mayor Mark Eckert says the changes give equal treatment to apartment landlords and motel owners who act as landlords. But some argue the ordinance is an unnecessary burden on the needy.