As May approaches, Chicago renters are desperate for relief

To date, state leaders and a dysfunctional Congress have provided little help

Chicago /
Apr.April 23, 2020 12:00 PM
Governor of Illinois J. B. Pritzker (Credit: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Governor of Illinois J. B. Pritzker (Credit: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Despite 2,000 one-time housing grants, the calls for rent relief keep coming. But Gov. J.B. Pritzker hasn’t heeded them.

In fact, Pritzker says he can’t. He claims that only the state legislature, which is not currently meeting, can repeal the ban on rent control.

Organizers on the left say Pritzker wields incredible power but is passing the buck.

If you ask housing organizers, Pritzker could use his ongoing disaster proclamation to repeal the state’s preemptive ban on rent regulation. They’re also pushing the governor to put a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the stay-at-home order, extending three months after it expires.

“He is the decision-maker, the person that really holds all the cards in this situation,” Jawanza Malone, founding member of Lift the Ban Coalition, told the Chicago Tribune. “There is no one else for us to appeal to.”

Roughly 26 million people across the U.S. have filed for unemployment benefits. About 1 in 6 American workers have lost their jobs since mid-March.

Though calls for rent control haven’t picked up any momentum at the state level, local and federal politicians have introduced legislation on rent relief. Chicago Alderman Matt Martin (47th Ward) introduced a bill that would give renters who lost income due to the virus and can’t pay rent for up to 12 months to make it up in staggered payments, according to the Tribune.

And U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia co-sponsored Rep. Ilhan Omar’s bill, which would permit residents to cancel rent or mortgage payments without going into debt or being dinged on their credit rating. It would also allow landlords and banks to cover any income lost.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush similarly introduced a bill that would defer mortgage payments during the pandemic until the end of the loan.

Ultimately, though many have pitched rent relief bills nationally, Congress hasn’t yet shown it to be a priority. [Tribune]James Kleimann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Gap CEO Sonya Syngal, Brookfield Property Partners CEO Brian Kingston and Water Tower Place (Getty; Google Maps)

Gap will exit Brookfield’s Water Tower Place, joining Macy’s

Gap will exit Brookfield’s Water Tower Place, joining Macy’s
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette and the Water Tower location. (Getty, Google Maps)

Mag Mile Macy’s closes as retailer shifts to smaller stores

Mag Mile Macy’s closes as retailer shifts to smaller stores
A proposal to create a new taxing district along the Magnificent Mile has failed to advance in City Council (The Magnificent Mile)

Mag Mile tax fails to advance in City Council

Mag Mile tax fails to advance in City Council
Toni Preckwinkle (Getty)

Cook County provides $1M to limit evictions, foreclosures

Cook County provides $1M to limit evictions, foreclosures
Bucksbaum Properties CEO John Bucksbaum (Getty, CMX Cinemas)

Bucksbaum sues movie chain Cinemex for $18M

Bucksbaum sues movie chain Cinemex for $18M
Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Getty)

Pritzker imposes new restrictions on retailers as Covid surges

Pritzker imposes new restrictions on retailers as Covid surges
 814 Commerce Drive in Oak Brook (Google Maps)

The ever softening suburban office market

The ever softening suburban office market
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Getty, iStock)

Pritzker and Lightfoot spar over Chicago’s new indoor dining restrictions

Pritzker and Lightfoot spar over Chicago’s new indoor dining restrictions
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...