Expert says don’t panic, but watch how emergency aid is allocated – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – Illinois’ moratorium on evictions officially ended on Sunday, after COVID-19 prevented tenants from being evicted for several months.

As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, that means authorities can now carry out physical evictions.

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The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Governor JB Pritzker to suspend evictions for a year and a half. But with the eviction lifted, troubled tenants could be at risk of losing their homes as some landlords fight for money.

Housing provider Ibn Abney now has the right to carry out evictions, but that is not his goal.

“Eviction is always the last resort,” Abney said.

He, like so many others, is trying to recover money lost from the eviction moratorium that has lasted for months. Allocations to state and county programs have failed.

“I applied to programs six or seven months ago and haven’t received any funding yet,” Abney said. “I haven’t received any updates.”

We first met Abney in May when he was struggling to maintain the upkeep of his property.

“We’re seeing a lot of deferred maintenance,” he said at the time. “The roofs need to be repaired. “

Not seeing any money is frustrating, as Governor JB Pritzker claims over $ 453,000 already distributed statewide. Chicago distributed $ 34 million and Cook County $ 64 million – with more on the way.

CBS 2 has reported in the past that one of the biggest issues is that in order to apply, detailed information must come from the tenant and the housing provider.

It’s difficult if the line of communication is missing.

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“I hope they can achieve a certain level of mutual appreciation that everyone needs to work together when a major crisis like this occurs,” said Michael Zink, a landlord-tenant lawyer who deals with deportation cases.

Zink said tenants shouldn’t be in a state of panic.

” Do not panic. Speak with the owner, ”he said. “With regard to housing providers, it’s the same thing. If your tenant is behind on rent or has been quiet for a while and hasn’t been notified, contact them. See what happens in order to reach a resolution or common ground.

Zink said Monday is unlikely to involve a large mass of evictions. He said sheriff’s services could still take weeks to complete.

But the other key thing is that tenants and landlords are asking for financial help. In Cook County, a new round of aid begins Monday – with $ 75 million available.

These are federal dollars from the US bailout.

Zink said that we will always have to keep an eye on how this money is allocated. Many tenants and housing providers have problems, and some are still waiting for dollars months later, whether it’s from the state of Illinois or the county.

Meanwhile, some questions remain: when will struggling applicants get money before it reaches expulsion? Will those who apply for a second time be approved?

“Ultimately these are from Washington DC, these rules, but I know locally there are state officials trying to see if they can what’s called ‘double-dip’ because they’re going to need it, ”Zink said.

For those like Abney, a first payment would be a start, as the road to a comfortable life will take some time.

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We contacted Governor JB Pritzker’s office for this story, but did not get a response on Sunday evening.

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