In the News

News from around the web on issues affecting renters.

Milshire Hotel Eyed By Fishman, But SRO Ordinance Could Give Nonprofit Edge

Milshire Hotel Eyed By Fishman: DNA Info

As the city moves to keep single room occupancy housing available to low-income residents, a nonprofit group is going up against a prominent Logan Square landlord in a bid to buy the embattled Milshire Hotel.

Low-income residents of the Milshire, 2525 N. Milwaukee Ave., were asked to leave in late May when the SRO's owner Art Fischoff announced he was selling the bed bug-infested building in a booming part of the neighborhood.

Rosemoor Hotel owner ordered to pay tenants $3,000 each for move

Rosemoor Hotel owner ordered to pay tenants $3,000 each for move: Sun-Times

A group of SRO tenants who probably couldn’t afford to buy a late-model Chevy if they pooled their money taught luxury auto dealer Joe Perillo a lesson Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

In the process, they learned something about themselves.

It was a beautiful thing to see.

The 15 or so tenants applauded spontaneously when Circuit Judge Edward Harmening ordered Perillo, owner of the Rosemoor Hotel, to pay each of them $3,000 to help them vacate the building on an emergency basis.

Proposed SRO Ordinance to Offer Incentives and Assistance to Building Owners, Preserve 700 Units by 2018

Proposed SRO Ordinance to Offer Incentives and Assistance to Building Owners, Preserve 700 Units by 2018: Gapers Block

"I know that we like to fight. But there are sometimes where we have to sit down and get something done...and we got something big done in the city of Chicago," Ald. Walter Burnett said as he stood in front of dozens of community activists this morning and praised Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office and the work of the Chicago for All Coalition at press conference introducing The Single-Room Occupancy and Residential Hotel Preservation Ordinance.

Tenants ordered out: 'They did me an injustice'

A Near West Side residential hotel undergoing renovation must be vacated by noon Thursday under an emergency order from a Cook County judge who declared it a fire hazard.

Monday’s ruling by Circuit Court Judge Edward Harmening left the 19 remaining residents of the Rosemoor Hotel, 1622 W. Jackson, scrambling for new places to live.

“I think they did me an injustice,” Jerry Siggers, 74, told me Wednesday as we stood outside the building where he has lived the past 14 years. Siggers doesn’t know where he can go on such short notice.

Chicago SRO proposal: Help the poor or write a big check

Chicago SRO proposal: Help the poor or write a big check: Chicago Tribune

Chicago's efforts to preserve single-room-occupancy hotels could force existing building owners, as well as buyers, to follow a lengthy and potentially expensive list of mandates that includes giving some displaced tenants as much as $10,600 in relocation assistance.

A proposed ordinance expected to be introduced at Wednesday's City Council meeting is the result of weeks of discussions between the city and community activists and building owners. But the proposal to maintain the city's housing of last resort has little in it for property owners to embrace.

Housing Needs Grow For An Aging America

Low-Income Illinoisans Struggle To Find Affordable Rentals
Housing Needs Grow For An Aging America: DNA Info

The existing U.S. housing inventory is unprepared to meet the needs of America's growing older adult population, finds a new report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP Foundation.

By 2030, the number of Americans aged 50 and over is expected to hit 132 million, up more than 70 percent since 2000, according to the report, "Housing America’s Older Adults—Meeting the Needs of An Aging Population."

Chicago SRO legal battle infested with bedbugs

With the Milshire Hotel closing, does the door shut on bedbugs?
Chicago SRO legal battle infested with bedbugs: RedEye

At one point in the legal battle between residents of a Logan Square single-room occupancy building and the landlord who wanted them out, residents actually used bedbugs as a weapon in their argument to stay put.

You Thought the Mortgage Crisis Was Over? It's About to Flare Up Again

You Thought the Mortgage Crisis Was Over? It's About to Flare Up Again: New Republic

We are nearly eight years removed from the beginnings of the foreclosure crisis, with over five million homes lost. So it would be natural to believe that the crisis has receded. Statistics point in that direction. Financial analyst CoreLogic reports that the national foreclosure rate fell to 1.7 percent in June, down from 2.5 percent a year ago. Sales of foreclosed properties are at their lowest levels since 2008, and the rate of foreclosure starts—the beginning of the foreclosure process—is at 2006 levels.

Future of affordable housing unclear after SRO tenant deals

Future of affordable housing unclear after SRO tenant deals: SunTimes

In a bid to preserve his home in Logan Square’s bug-infested Milshire Hotel, Fred Bartels testified before the City Council just last month in favor of a city moratorium on converting or demolishing single-room occupancy and residential hotels.

On Friday, Bartels was making plans for what he could do with the $4,000 he will receive in exchange for moving out of the Milshire by Sept. 2 as part of a settlement between tenants and the building owner.

Milshire Hotel residents settle with management

Residents of the beleaguered Milshire Hotel agreed Wednesday to move out by 5 p.m. Sept. 2 in exchange for $4,000 per unit and a promise that owners of the single-room occupancy building will not attempt to collect back rent.
"I can't wait to get out of there," said Jennie Morales, who said she has lived at the Milshire off and on for 21 years and does not have solid plans for somewhere to move next month. "I'm glad it's over."