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Pritzker to extend eviction moratorium another 30 days: ‘Nothing really has changed’

Pointing to the number of people out of work, housing advocates have called for the governor to cancel rent and mortgage payments and lift the ban on rent control out of fear that too many will become homeless after the pandemic.

Aerial view of west suburban Berwyn looking toward Chicago in March.
Aerial view of west suburban Berwyn looking toward Chicago in March.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times file

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday he plans to extend the state’s moratorium on evictions another month.

Pritzker said adjustments made to the order are still being worked out, and the Friday announcement served purely as a heads-up that the extension was coming.

“Suffice to say though, there won’t be any major news, but we are looking at how we might make adjustments,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference. “Remember, nothing really has changed in terms of the effect of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, its effect on people’s jobs and their ability, or inability, to pay their rent or mortgage.”

More details on the October extension of the moratorium will be rolled out along with the executive order, Pritzker said.

Pointing to the number of people out of work, housing advocates and others have called for the governor to cancel rent and mortgage payments and lift the ban on rent control out of fear that too many will become homeless after the pandemic.

But a group of landlords and building owners in Chicago said Friday that the governor’s decision jeopardizes their ability to maintain their buildings.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, left, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker appear at a Little Village news conference in September.
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, left, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker appear at a Little Village news conference in September.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file

“The Governor’s blanket eviction moratorium, among the most expansive in the nation, still offers no recourse for struggling neighborhood housing providers,” the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance, which represents smaller housing providers, such as landlords, said in a statement.

“Neighborhood and affordable housing, most of which is supplied by smaller providers, is facing dire circumstances which will imperil their ability to keep their buildings stable and their residents secure,” the alliance said.

Before Pritzker extended the order in August, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart urged the governor in a public letter to renew the moratorium until state and local agencies had finished issuing financial aid to homeowners and tenants.

Dart warned that letting the moratorium expire would put as many as 250,000 households in the county at risk of eviction during the coronavirus pandemic.

After the letter was published, a group of Chicago landlords pleaded for more help for building owners.

“Many families are suffering a COVID-related loss of income but so are many of the people who provide them with their homes,” the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance said in a statement. “In this COVID era, the cost of providing housing has increased while rental income has declined due to the inability of many tenants to pay their rent.”