PEORIA (WEEK)- The eviction moratorium ended October 3 after Governor Pritzker announced $443 million in emergency rental assistance. The eviction moratorium originally began March 2020, and continued to be extended with updated restrictions.
Throughout the pandemic rental assistance has been offered to those who qualify on both a local and federal levels. Federally enhanced unemployment was also offered as a resource to those struggling after the initial shut down and there after.
The housing crisis that surged during the national shut down did not include landlords in the regulations used to keep people in their homes.
“Everything was focused on helping tenants, nothing was done focused on helping landlords” Paul Arena, Director of Legislator for the Illinois Renter Property Association.
Larger landlords reported that their tenants did pay their rent. However, smaller landlords risked half their revenue if for example two out of four renters can not pay.
“Many landlords are selling properties to cover their debts. Their exhausting savings to cover their debts or their walking away from the property entirety, and letting it go into foreclosure” said Arena.
The protections for filing for rental assistance must be done by the tenant. The landlord can not initiate or submit stand alone documentation.
“I talked to a lot of landlords who said the tenant wont apply. I mean that’s the biggest complaint that we have, and a lot of it is speculative because those tenants aren’t communicating” said Arena.
Renters in jeopardy of eviction are asked to seek assistance. Prairie State Legal Services offers legal aid mediation at the Peoria County court house.
“There’s a lot of resources available out there. There’s eviction help Illinois, There’s also our weekly live. We’re on Facebook live every Thursday at noon” said Britta Johnson, Attorney Prairie State Legal Services.