Logan Square renters say landlord is unfairly forcing them out

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Residents of a Logan Square apartment building say they are being unfairly forced out of their homes by their landlord and that they have nowhere affordable to go, but the landlord said he is the victim.

Maria Santos has lived in her Logan Square apartment with her husband and two children from the last nine years.

"We have nearby schools for our kids, we know this area, we know our neighbors," she said through an interpreter.

But the family won't be able to stay there much longer. They live in one of the buildings in the 2300-block of North California that are being sold to a developer with plans to build a luxury complex by the end of the year.

"The full building's amenities will include a fitness center, a community room and a very large sundeck with fireplaces, BBQ pits and ample recreation areas," the developer said in a statement about the complex.

"I've tried to look for other places to move, but rent is really expensive," Santos said.

The building's landlord Francisco Macias told ABC 7 he's a victim in this situation too. His seven remaining tenants have not paid rent since learning they'd be evicted, and now they're refusing to move out by January 15, a date he said they all agreed on.

"I don't know what to do at this point as a landlord. I have six month with no rents. I still have to pay mortgage, I still have to pay taxes, I still have to pay my water bills, I still have to pay all my bills," Macias said.

Santos said she tried to pay her rent but the collector who normally came by the apartment stopped arriving at the first of the month. And she said she's trying to move out, but cannot find a place she and her family can afford.

Volunteers helping her relocate said her situation is not unique.

"Nineteen-thousand Latinos have been displaced from Logan Square in the last 10 years," said Noah Moskowitz, We Are Logan Square volunteer.

Monday they went to look at yet another apartment where the Santos family could move, but it's far from the childrens' schools and it's not home.

Marcias said he plans to go to court on January 17 and set an eviction date if his tenants do not move out on time. He said he bought the building as an investment eight years ago, always with plans to sell it, and his tenants never signed a lease. They lived there month-to-month.
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