“Governor [J.B.] Pritzker is making a prudent and sensible decision in phasing out the eviction moratorium as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and our economy gets back on track,” Michael Mini, executive vice president of the Chicagoland Apartment Association told The Epoch Times. “Landlords and tenants have both faced unprecedented financial pressures since the spring of 2020 when the pandemic and stay-at-home order began.”
Paul Arena, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, told The Epoch Times that the Association was “pleased” to see the moratorium’s end, it was “long overdue” and that “we need to get back to normal operations.”
Illinois Gov. Pritzker signed an executive order on July 23 announcing that the state’s eviction moratorium which protected tenants unable to pay rent because of COVID-19-related income loss will expire on Aug. 21.
At the national level, the eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expires Saturday after Congress failed to extend the moratorium.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that any extension would have to be approved by Congress.
“Property owners and managers have been working collaboratively with tenants to set up specialized payments plans, waive late fees, and extend grace periods to help those who were financially impacted by COVID-19, finding workable solutions to keep people in their homes,” said Mini. “Rent relief and additional protections adopted by the courts and state and local governments will help housing providers and residents alike.”
However, Arena said that the landlords didn’t receive the same protection from the government as the tenants did during the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus pandemic.
“Landlords have not been able to recover their losses from tenants who simply moved out while owing large amounts of back rent or who are unwilling to apply for assistance,” he said.
Other Reliefs Still Available to Renters
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, federal funds have been distributed locally to keep renters afloat. In the summer and fall of 2020, Illinois disbursed $300 million to residents who received a maximum of $5,000; in Chicago, $80 million was distributed in May of 2021 from federal funds to prevent mass evictions.
In May, 81,000 parties, both Illinois renters and housing providers, applied for millions in federal funds, and $500 million remains with the state, which is expected to assist 63,000 households.
For example, a grant of up to $25,000 is available through the Illinois Housing Development Authority for COVID-19 related past due rent payments funded by federal relief dollars—an amount estimated to represent rent obligations from 12 pandemic-related months with three additional months.
Rental assistance funding is available but renters need to know where to look and how to navigate the system.
“My biggest concern is making sure that everyone, regardless of technology and regardless of where they live and how they get their information, can learn about these programs and how to access them,” Sharon Legenza, executive director of advocacy group Housing Action Illinois, told The Center Square.