Suit: Seniors to be evicted from apartments despite lifetime leases

SHARE Suit: Seniors to be evicted from apartments despite lifetime leases
SHARE Suit: Seniors to be evicted from apartments despite lifetime leases

A group of low-income senior citizens filed a class action lawsuit Friday against the non-profit group that runs their subsidized-rent apartment complexes in Chicago, claiming they are being evicted despite having lifetime leases.

Six residents of Presbyterian Homes Inc. filed the breach of contract suit Friday in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of its 112 seniors.

On Aug. 14, Presbyterian CEO Todd Swortzel sent a letter notifying all residents that they will have to move out by next November because the program has become “financially unsustainable” for the organization, the suit says.

The group plans to sell the buildings at market rate “instead of an affordable housing developer,” the suit claims.

“Presbyterian Homes promised these residents a home for life . . . [They] cannot break the leases because they now want to sell these buildings,” attorney Matthew Piers said in a written statement.

A representative for Presbyterian Homes could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Presbyterian resident Linda Armitage said in the statement that she and her neighbors were “stunned and angry” to receive the move out notice.

“It’s too much for us to handle. None of us can afford a market rate apartment, and really, we shouldn’t have to, given the charitable mission of Presbyterian Homes,” Armitage said.

The three-count suit seeks an order requiring Presbyterian Homes to honor the leases, an injunction to protect the seniors from being evicted, and assistance for those who have already been forced to leave.

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