In the News

News from around the web on issues affecting renters.

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.

'Problem Landlord List' Approved by City Council

Problem Landlord List Approved by City Council: DNA Info

The City Council moved Wednesday to create a "problem landlord list" to shame scofflaw landlords into addressing problems in their buildings.

By a 49-0 vote, the council approved an ordinance giving the Department of Buildings authority to create and publish the list. A landlord found "liable" in administrative hearings on two violations within two years would be placed on the list.

Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis said in committee testimony Tuesday that the first list would be published on the department website on Monday.

City of Chicago to publish 'Bad Landlord List'

The City of Chicago is putting together a list of the city's worst landlords, hoping to put heat on property owners who often provide nothing for their tenants.

City Hall announced the so-called 'Bad Landlord List' on Monday. It will be published in a couple weeks and will include the names of property owners who have been taken to court at least three times in the past 24 months.

FOX 32: What's it like living in these conditions?

"It's hell! I mean it's cold," said Antoinette McRavy.

No opting out: Here's a compromise on city's affordable housing ordinance

No opting out: Here's a compromise on city's affordable housing ordinance: Crain's

In 2003, the city of Chicago enacted an Affordable Requirements Ordinance mandating affordable units in private market developments. The development community was and continues to be a supporter of this and is a proponent of the affordable housing regulations included in the ARO.

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.