Illinois eviction moratorium for renters likely to extend, but don't get too far behind

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The hold on evictions in Illinois is likely to continue following CDC guidance of a moratorium on evictions until June 30, but it's important to not fall too far behind.

"We are talking about food, shelter, medical expenses, all of these things have risen while people's wages are depressed or they've lost work entirely," said Karla Chrobak, supervising attorney for CARPLS.

CARPLS offers legal assistance to residents in Cook County. Chrobak said the anticipated extension of the moratorium is needed for their clients, and for the health of the community.

"Homelessness is just going to cause an uptick in COVID infections," she said. "I'm not just talking about people moving into homeless shelters, I'm talking about when they have to double up with family members or friends."

The moratorium may give tenants some room to breathe, but on the other side are property owners. The most impacted are those with small buildings, for whom going without income can also be difficult.

"If someone has four units and they have one or two tenants that are not paying, that becomes a significant portion of their investment," said Paul Arena, Illinois Rental Property Owners Association.

Arena is the director of legislative affairs for the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, and has a tenant in one of his Winnebago county units that fell ill with COVID-19.

"She received funding and was current then as of December, but afterward she was unable to pay her rent so she is currently behind again," he said.

Both tenant and landlord advocates urge those behind in rent to apply for help. Cook County is currently taking applications through April 9, and more rental assistance from the state and federal government is expected next month.

Click here to get Cook County Rental Assistance or call 877-426-6515.
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