Is rent and mortgage relief on the way in Illinois?

Graphic: South Side Weekly

While the press seems infatuated by the idea that two idiot Republican legislators are refusing to wear masks when the Illinois House meets today, the big story to me is the rent and mortgage relief Act that State Representative Delia Ramirez, co-sponsored by State Representative Will Guzzardi, will introduce.

If passed and signed by Governor Pritzker, the bill would:

  • Cancel rent debt for tenants who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine; have lost income through furloughs, layoffs or other employment interruption; or are paying more for household expenses, child care or health care during the moratorium.
  • Prevent landlords and condo associations from fining those residents for missed payments or reporting them to a consumer reporting agency, tenant screening agency or credit bureau.
  • Compensate landlords and mortgage lenders for canceled payments through a newly created residential housing relief fund. The money could also help pay for moving costs and assist mortgage holders and tenants with payments after the moratorium expires.
  • Suspend mortgage payments for coronavirus-impacted landlords and homeowners and give those homeowners a 180-day forbearance on taxes, insurance and association fees. Loan terms would be extended for the number of months of missed payments.
  • Place a moratorium on foreclosures and prevent new eviction filings in court, in addition to the existing moratorium on carrying out evictions. It also gives tenants more time to pay back late rent after the moratorium expires and tightens restrictions on future eviction proceedings and rent increases for a year after the moratorium expires.
  • Be in effect until the state’s unemployment rate recovers to near pre-pandemic levels and the governor’s disaster proclamation has expired.

Guzzardi told the Chicago Trib he thinks the bill can be passed by the General Assembly and signed by JB in three days, in time for when June 1st rent is due.

An email to your legislators is in order. Don’t worry about a bill number. They know.

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