"It's just one more month deeper in the hole that thousands and thousands of tenants across the state now are in, and it's not letting up," said Michael Robin, volunteer at the Chicago Tenants Movement.
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The pandemic has chewed deep holes in the pockets of once-hardworking Americans, and they fear this day every month.
"I am down to my bottom dollar," Robin said. "I'm actually $200 in overdraft and if I don't hear from IDES in the next four days I'll have missed my rent."
A statewide ban on evictions signed and extended by Governor JB Pritzker forbids landlords from tossing tenants out of their homes and into the freezing cold. But without rent checks, that puts the penalty on the landlords.
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"I got the mortgage, the payment of taxes, and having to deal with someone telling me they ain't paying me," said Keyth Dickerson, Chicago landlord. "Right now they're buying Christmas presents and they haven't paid in five, six, seven months."
Dickerson said he's fronting the money for the half a dozen South Side properties he owns, and is now $20,000 in the hole himself.
"I think that we need to advocate for the landlords because what we know is the unintended consequences of a moratorium of evictions will be foreclosures," said Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-IL 8th District). "And foreclosures will have a drastic impact, negative impact on the economy and communities."
Ford said when the pandemic gives way there's going to be a deep, unintended housing crisis spread far and wide.