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Gov. Pritzker, fine-tune your eviction moratorium so bad actors can’t game the system

An increasing number of tenants who are able to pay rent are choosing not to because of the moratorium. Other states don’t allow this manipulation. Illinois should not either.

The governor needs to revise the state’s eviction moratorium, says the head of the Chicagoland Apartment Association.
The governor needs to revise the state’s eviction moratorium to protect against bad actors, says the head of the Chicagoland Apartment Association.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times file

As Gov. Pritzker extended the statewide moratorium on residential evictions late last week, he stated that “nothing really has changed” with regards to COVID-19 and its effect on the economy. We’d like to offer a different opinion.

Change #1: In tens of thousands of instances, Chicago-area landlords are working with tenants in offering extended grace periods, waiving late fees, and restructuring payment plans. Paired with aid from state and federal government, a portion of the financial burden is being eased for many.

Change #2: An increasing number of tenants who are able to pay rent are choosing not to because of the moratorium. Other states don’t allow this manipulation of the rules and Illinois should not either.

We remain hopeful Gov. Pritzker will fine-tune his moratorium — like the moratoriums governors in other states have crafted — so the system cannot be gamed by bad actors spitefully withholding rent payments and making it more difficult for landlords to help residents truly in need.

Change #3: Due to multiple factors, Chicago apartment vacancies are rising and rents are falling. We must acknowledge the pandemic threatens the financial viability of both tenants and landlords across Illinois.

Michael Mini, executive vice president, Chicagoland Apartment Association

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

Help the budget — ticket illegally parked cars

So Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to raise property taxes to cover another budgetary shortfall. I have a strong suggestion: Why doesn’t the city do a better job of collecting the revenue that already exists, and is there for the taking? I drive on West Addison Street almost daily, from the Kennedy Expressway and westbound, only to see a multitude of illegally parked cars in what is alleged to be a tow zone, during the rush hour.

I say “alleged,” because nobody ever gets towed.

But the bigger issue is that people are seldom even ticketed, in spite of the revenue shortage. It is also a safety issue, with people having to cut in and out of lanes, not to mention causing traffic backups. Accidents are common. I suspect that there are many streets like this, throughout the city. The number of illegally parked cars would pay for meter attendants and free police to do more important things. It would put money in the city coffers, and make the street better for commuters. Sounds like a win-win situation.

I am going to assume that there are other potential revenue streams that are not being managed properly that could help offset having to raise property taxes.

So mayor, do you really care about the citizens that have invested heavily by purchasing a residence in the city, or are you just looking for another quick and easy revenue stream?

Stephen Kaim, Schorsch Village

Yarbrough’s ballot mess

Your recent editorial on Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough’s office unfortunately is spot on. Yarbrough’s office is a disaster.

I’ve emailed three times and called the office. Never got an answer to the emails. The phone call went to a call center whereI was told to have patience. I mailed my request for a ballot on Aug. 18. Two months is a joke.If I have to go to the polling place on election day to get a provisional ballot, I will not be a happy voter.

If you have a solution for politicians who are useless, let me know.

John C. Nuccio, Park Ridge