In the News

News from around the web on issues affecting renters.

Decades later, black homebuyers' battle for justice back in spotlight

Decades later, black homebuyers' battle for justice back in spotlight

A look back at the Contract Buyers League, a group of African-American homeowners who organized to end the practice of contract buying, where black homeowners were enticed to buy their houses on "contract" from real estate speculators, who continued to own the mortgage on the property.

Affordable Housing, Always

Affordable Housing, Always: The Atlantic

Not long ago, inner cities were riddled with crime and blight and affluent white residents high-tailed it to the suburbs, seeking better schools, safer streets, and, in some cases, fewer minority neighbors.

But today, as affluent white residents return to center cities, people who have lived there for years are finding they can’t afford to stay.

What’s Law Got to Do With It? How Medical-Legal Partnerships Reduce Barriers to Health

What’s Law Got to Do With It? How Medical-Legal Partnerships Reduce Barriers to Health: RWJF

A lawyer as part of the health care team? It's not as strange as it sounds. Many of the social conditions that impede health, such as housing, education, employment, food and insurance, can be traced to laws unfairly applied or under-enforced, often leading to the improper denial of services and benefits designed to help vulnerable people.

Supreme Court upholds housing discrimination law

Supreme Court upholds housing discrimination law, USA Today

A deeply divided Supreme Court delivered an unexpected reprieve to civil rights groups Thursday, ruling that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.

The justices said people objecting to lending, zoning, sales and rental practices can base their legal claim on the disparate impact those practices have on blacks or other minorities.

Vacant and Abandoned

The housing crisis lives on in the homes it has emptied and banks aren't taking responsibility
Vacant and Abandoned: South Side Weekly

7322 South Laflin is a brick, two-story apartment building with broken windows and an unlocked front door. It wouldn’t look inhabited save for a few bottles of shampoo visible in one of the windows of the upper floor. It completed foreclosure in June of last year, when, like most foreclosures, it was sold back to the mortgage lender, Selene Finance LP.

Aldermen make changes to Chicago foreclosure ordinance

Aldermen make changes to Chicago foreclosure ordinance: Chicago Tribune

A Chicago City Council committee took steps Monday to ensure a speedy turnaround for tenants who are living in foreclosed properties and are entitled to get a new lease or moving assistance under city code.

The housing committee recommended changes to the so-called Keep Chicago Renting ordinance, which requires that new owners of foreclosed rental properties offer new leases with a maximum 2 percent increase or pay $10,600 in moving assistance to each tenant.

Aldermen plug holes in ordinance tailor-made to protect renters displaced by foreclosures

Aldermen plug holes in ordinance tailor-made to protect renters displaced by foreclosures: Chicago Sun-Times

A City Council committee moved Monday to plug holes that have limited the effectiveness of a two-year-old ordinance tailor-made to protect tenants displaced by rental building foreclosures.

The so-called “Keep Chicago Renting” ordinance requires banks that acquire legally-occupied rental buildings at court-ordered foreclosure auctions to register with the city, send prompt notices to tenants and give those renters a choice between a one-year lease extension with no more than a 2-percent rent increase or a one-time relocation fee of $10,600.

A Letter to the Investor Buying Our Apartment Building

A Letter to the Investor Buying Our Apartment Building: Seattle Weekly News

Dear Landlord,

Last week they took Bill’s body away. You never knew him. He’d lived here for over 25 years, a quarter-century that saw him slowly decline from an excited young man who loved James Joyce, the Seahawks, and a good bottle of beer to a decrepit old man who hobbled on crutches and still loved James Joyce, the Seahawks, and a cheap case or two of beer.

Sale of North Side SROs tests new city preservation law

Sale of North Side SROs tests new city preservation law: Sun Times

Residents of three single-room occupancy hotels on the North Side have been informed the properties are for sale in what shapes up as the first major test of the city’s new SRO preservation ordinance.

The Dolins family, owners of the vintage Marshall Hotel, 1232 N. LaSalle, Carling Hotel, 1512 N. LaSalle and Darlington Hotel, 4700 N. Racine, gave official notice to the city Jan. 28 of their intent to sell and followed up with letters to the tenants.

Renters outnumber homeowners in Chicago, 8 other cities

Renters outnumber homeowners in Chicago, 8 other cities: Chicago Tribune

Renters in nine of the nation's 11 largest metropolitan areas, including Chicago, outnumbered homeowners in 2013, causing a scarcity of rental apartments, particularly for the neediest consumers, according to a study released Monday.

Along with Chicago, where there was a 12 percent increase in renters from 2006 to 2013, there were more renters than homeowners in Miami, Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, New York City and Dallas.

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