Renter Stories

It is easy to take for granted the powerful role that home plays in our daily lives. Housing stability is connected to better health, better education, and social and mental wellness that nurture success and a sense of well‑being. Right now, right here in Chicago, thousands of families are struggling with housing issues. We invite you to read some of our renters’ stories that show how LCBH and your support have benefited their lives and our communities. We know you appreciate how important having a safe and stable home is to thriving in our lives and in our communities.

Gilberto and Margarita

Gilberto and Margarita, a married couple with five minor children, had moved four times in six years and were seeing the adverse effects of moving to new neighborhoods, with new friends, and new schools. So when it came time to move again they walked around Pilsen to find a suitable place where the landlord might be amenable to a long-term lease.

In June of 2009, they found a two-flat with a “For Rent” sign. They called the landlord who, much to their relief, was willing to give them a five year lease. As their primary language is Spanish, staying in Pilsen was important.

Signature

Rental leases can take many forms, from a contract spanning hundreds of pages to a simple text message conversation. LCBH has encountered any number of ways a landlord and a tenant have chosen to do business. One recent example involved Charles, who resided in a single-unit home that was owned by his uncle James. In 2012, James invited his nephew Charles to live with him and assist with renovating the home.

Susan

Susan is a disabled woman who, like many of our neighbors during this slow economic recovery, fell behind on her rent after losing her job. In September 2013, a Chicago-based real estate company acquired her building and instructed all tenants who were behind on their rent to contact the main office and arrange a payment plan. Susan dutifully called the main office and was transferred to an eviction hotline. Susan spoke with an operator and agreed to a payment plan that would allow her to catch up on her past due rent while continuing to make her current monthly rent payments.

Bey Family

Veronica Bey came to LCBH in May 2013 looking for help. Veronica, her father, and her four (soon to be five) children participated in the Housing Choice Voucher program. The apartment they were living in was no longer eligible for the program because of failed apartment inspections by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and, as a result, the landlord evicted the Bey family from their home. With the help of the LCBH legal team, Veronica and her family were able to reach a settlement that provided the family with additional time to move out.

JaQuan (left) with LCBH paralegal, Eileen Mulrenin

LCBH recently had a huge multi-layered victory in the Attorney of the Day Eviction Defense program. A family in need was allowed to remain in their home thanks to LCBH attorneys and a third year senior law student’s strident advocacy at trial and an emergency grant from a great new LCBH partner to help the family recover from a financial set-back.