Widespread financial relief for Illinois tenants and landlords could be signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker by the end of this week.
According to the Chicago Tribune, state lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill that would cancel tenant rent debt and compensate landlords for canceled payments, while also suspending mortgage payments, among other things.
The bill, called the Covid-19 Emergency and Economic Recovery Renter and Homeowner Protection Act, is sponsored by Rep. Delia Ramirez and has support among Democrats.
If it’s signed into law by Pritzker, the act would be in effect until the state’s unemployment rate returns to its pre-pandemic levels and the governor’s disaster declaration has expired. https://therealdeal.com/chicago/2020/03/20/gov-pritzker-calls-for-end-to-evictions-non-essential-business-in-statewide-shelter-in-place-order/
The act would cancel rent for those diagnosed with Covid-19, prevent landlords from fining those residents or reporting them to a consumer reporting agency and compensate landlords for canceled payments, according to the Tribune. It would also suspend mortgage payments for coronavirus-impacted landlords; provide a 180-day forbearance on taxes, insurance and fees, place a moratorium on foreclosures and prevent new eviction filings in court, according to the report.
The act also allows tenants additional time to pay back late rent even after the existing moratorium expires.
“There are a ton of small landlords out there making things work and being as kind and generous as they can, but we can’t just rely on the generosity of individual actors,” said Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat and co-sponsor. “We need policy to protect people.”
Pritzker placed a moratorium on evictions in mid-March, but he has resisted enacting larger protections on rent and mortgage payments, mainly citing a state law that prevents rent regulation. [Tribune] — James Kleimann