In the News

News from around the web on issues affecting renters.

Aldermen pass SRO preservation law

Aldermen pass SRO preservation law: Chicago Tribune

Owners of single-room-occupancy hotels in Chicago will not be able to so easily evict residents and convert their properties to market-rate apartments, under an ordinance approved Wednesday by the Chicago City Council.

By a vote of 47-2, aldermen approved the Single-Room Occupancy Preservation Ordinance to help veterans, students and city residents down on their luck who might otherwise find themselves homeless.

Hard work of many led to single room occupancy ordinance

Hard work of many led to single room occupancy ordinance: Chicago Sun-Times

Just two years ago, a group of Chicago community activists weren’t sure they could find a single alderman to champion the cause of saving the city’s disappearing stock of single-room occupancy housing.

With SROs more often viewed as problem buildings than a precious last chance affordable housing option for the poor, aldermen were less likely to want to save SROs in their wards than to actively get rid of them.

Even a year ago when those same activists started talking about using the 2015 city elections to force the issue, I thought to myself: fat chance.

What happens when housing for the poor is remodeled as luxury studios

What happens when housing for the poor is remodeled as luxury studios: Washington Post

For years, this brown-brick building near Wrigley Field housed people who had nowhere else to go. It had peeling walls and broken smoke detectors. But its tiny one-room apartments offered homes to residents too poor for a one-bedroom, too risky to pass a credit check, too vulnerable — on the perpetual edge of homelessness — to sign a one-year lease.

SRO proposal passes committee hurdle

SRO proposal passes committee hurdle: Chicago Tribune

An ordinance that would make it more expensive to convert single-room-occupancy hotels in Chicago into market-rate housing moved closer to becoming law Monday with an endorsement from aldermen.

The City Council's Housing Committee passed the Single-Room Occupancy Preservation Ordinance without dissent. The measure, which has Mayor Rahm Emanuel's support, will head to the full City Council for consideration Wednesday.

Housing Activists Criticize Emanuel's Management Of CHA At Anti-Homelessness Event

Housing Activists Criticize Emanuel's Management Of CHA At Anti-Homelessness Event: Progress Illinois

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at a pricey downtown breakfast event on homelessness, city housing activists and homeless families protested outside Thursday morning citing the mayor's "failure to support reform of the Chicago Housing Authority."

Chicago Housing Authority opens wait lists for public housing, vouchers

Chicago Housing Authority opens wait lists for public housing, vouchers: Chicago Tribubne

For most of his adult life, Clifford McKnight has bounced from house to house sleeping on relatives' couches, sharing bedrooms and crowding into small apartments to have a place to rest his head, he said.

On Monday, he joined more than 80,000 Chicago residents who applied for housing assistance from the Chicago Housing Authority, after the CHA opened its wait lists for new residents for the first time in more than four years.

Chicago revamps its SRO proposal

Chicago revamps its SRO proposal: Chicago Tribune

Chicago has backed away from a proposal to regulate the redevelopment of single-room-occupancy hotels in the city, and instead will offer more options for building owners and developers while still requiring cash payments for displaced long-term tenants.

The Supreme Court’s next assault on protections against discrimination: housing

The Supreme Court’s next assault on protections against discrimination: housing: Vox

Right now, courts treat housing discrimination as a statistical question: if the plaintiffs can prove, with raw data, that a housing policy has a disproportionately negative effect on racial minorities or other protected groups, then it's discriminatory and against the law.

But a case on the Supreme Court's docket for its next term could change that, forcing plaintiffs to prove that the defendants wrote the policy intending to discriminate — a much tougher bar to clear.

Grants available to remodel apartment buildings

Grants available to remodel apartment buildings: Austin Talks

If you’re a landlord or owner of a contracting company based in Austin, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center wants to help you remodel your apartment building.

The Austin Ascending Project began earlier this year to promote Austin as a desirable community where people of all races can live together and value each other.

The grant program offers landlords with two- to four-unit buildings up to $4,000 in grants per unit. But the unit must be vacant, according to application guidelines available on the project’s website.

Chicago High-Rise Management Company Taking Proactive Approach To Combat Bed Bugs

Chicago High-Rise Management Company Taking Proactive Approach To Combat Bed Bugs: CBS Chicago

We often hear about high-rise bed bug infestations in the news, but one management company is taking proactive steps, to make sure their buildings are not in the headlines. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has this Original Report.

They cause itching, scratching and sleepless nights. Nataliya Rozhok she doesn’t want to see bed bugs in her apartment.

“I’ve never had them so I wouldn’t know what to look for but I’m sure if I had them, I would know,” she said.

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