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Since December 2020, Open Communities has received over 300 calls for rent and landlord-tenant mediation assistance. Our Director of Housing Counseling & Education, Jasemen Hatcher, talks about evictions on Chicago's North Shore and the effect of Covid-19.

Before the pandemic, winter was our slowest season. Most evictions happen in early spring, and we see an increase in calls starting in March. And our mediation calls would have consisted of repairs and residential-landlord tenant ordinance (RLTO) violations.

Instead, our calls have been non-stop. And our calls come from people facing several challenges.

  • Single moms with limited support and who have exhausted all other options call us for help.

  • Landlords trying to collect missed rent payments but who cannot reach their tenants despite numerous calls and texts.

  • Families who contracted Covid-19 and are no longer able to work.

These are a small sample of those who are at risk of eviction or who already have been evicted in our area.

It will be several months before we know an accurate number of evictions filed within our community. We know for sure that behind every eviction is a person or a family with limited resources to avoid an eviction and fewer options after an eviction occurs.

If you or someone you know is at risk of eviction or foreclosure, you should:

  • Communicate with your landlord. Notify them when possible of any late rent payments and create a plan to pay the rent owed.

  • Contact Open Communities so that we can help you find assistance to pay your rent, mediating with your landlord, and preventing eviction or foreclosure.

  • Immediately reach out to legal aid agencies for assistance with navigating the eviction moratorium and understanding your rights. We recommend North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, CARPLS, and Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing

As we begin to turn a corner in our fight against COVID-19 with the vaccine, we hope to turn a corner with looming evictions and foreclosures, too. We have hope that the incoming administration will work with states and cities to develop programs that address the eviction crisis and help keep people in their homes. Because where you live matters.



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