Senior Safety Ordinance

Know Your Rights: Senior Safety Ordinance

The Senior Safety Ordinance was approved by the Chicago City Council in July 2020 and creates additional requirements for owners of senior buildings to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of their residents during a declared disaster related to public health. 

If you believe there is a building owner that is not complying with the ordinance, please contact your Alderman.

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of senior tenants:

Under the ordinance, senior buildings must put in place the following measures if the City is subject to a local, state, or federally declared public health disaster: 

  • Building owners and managers must conduct well-being checks on their residents at least twice weekly (tenants have the ability to opt out if they wish).
  • Building staff is required to screen all non-residents for any symptoms related to the public health crisis. If a person exhibits any symptoms, they will be denied access.
  • Building staff is required to limit access to the building to staff members, caregivers, personal aides, home makers, family members, and friends.
  • Building staff will help residents access food and medication delivery when needed.
  • Building owners and managers will make available and distribute to all staff proper protective equipment (PE) and hand washing facilities with soap or hand sanitizer. Building management is also required to train staff on proper use of PE.
  • Building staff will implement an updated cleaning regimen that ensures high-contact surfaces are being disinfected at least three times daily with approved cleaning products.
  • Building owners and managers cannot reduce staffing levels to lower than needed to keep the building in compliance with the law.

Maintaining documentation during a declared public health emergency:

Throughout the declared public health disaster, building owners and managers must:

  • Document the dates and times of all resident wellness checks. This must be signed by the individual who performs the wellness check.
  • Document the dates and times of all cleanings. All records must be maintained by the senior building owner and managers for two years after the date of entry of the record. If an authorized City official requests documentation, the building staff must make it available.

Failure to comply:

Under the ordinance, building owners are subject to the following if they fail to comply with the provisions of the ordinance:

  • A daily fine of $100 to $500 for each day they are out of compliance.
  • The City’s Corporation Counsel can seek an injunction or other equitable relief in court to stop any violations.

Non-compliance in your building? Here’s what you can do!

  • Step 1: Call 311 and ask for a reference number. Write it down and save it.
  • Step 2: Call your Alderman and give them the reference number. Request that  they follow up on the reference number and call you back within a week.
  • Step 3: Talk to your neighbors and encourage them to call 311 as well.
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