Illinois’ eviction moratorium ends Sunday

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The view from The Up Room on the 13th floor of The Robey Hotel.
The view from The Up Room on the 13th floor of The Robey Hotel. | Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the state’s eviction ban in August despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end President Joe Biden’s federal eviction moratorium.

Illinois’ moratorium on enforcement of residential evictions expires Sunday, more than 18 months after it was established in response to the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.

The end of the ban may put some renters at risk of losing their housing.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker first implemented the moratorium in March 2020 as part of the state’s coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order, which was established to limit the spread of the virus. The Democratic governor continued to extend the order over the last 1 ½ years, with some revisions.

Most recently, Pritzker extended the state’s eviction ban in August to allow more time for landlords and renters to utilize all available resources for assistance, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in late August to end President Joe Biden’s federal eviction moratorium.

Officials don’t necessarily expect a large wave of evictions to happen Monday because, in part, state and local law enforcement authorities were given the green light in June to enforce eviction orders that were sought before March 20, 2020.

Still, thousands of renters could be facing evictions and foreclosures soon.

More than 60,000 Illinoisans say they’re likely to face eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey published Sept. 22. An additional 200,000-plus people said they could be facing foreclosure in the next two months, the survey reported.

Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority announced Friday that more than $443 million in emergency rental assistance had been paid on behalf of 49,100 households through the Illinois Rental Payment Program, an initiative launched in May 2021 that provides up to $25,000 in financial assistance to cover missed rent payments as the result of the pandemic.

Pritzker praised the milestone, calling Illinois a “national leader at getting relief into the pockets of landlords and homeowners.”

“Having a roof over your head is the foundation of a thriving life, and Illinois is fiercely combatting the pandemic’s destabilizing effects on that foundation by keeping our residents on their feet,” Pritzker said Friday in a statement.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office didn’t return the Chicago Sun-Times’ request for comment Sunday.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced an additional $75 million will be available, beginning Monday, for suburban Cook County residents who are at risk of experiencing homelessness due to the pandemic.

Cook County renters and landlords can apply for relief online by visiting Cook County Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance. Chicagoans in jeopardy of experiencing housing insecurities can apply for rental assistance online at https://www.rentrelief.com/allchicago/.

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October 3, 2021 at 09:51PM

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