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September 2017

By Esme Caramello & Nora Mahlberg
The Clearinghouse Community, part of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

June 2016

A draft of the Chicago Healthy Homes Inspection Program which establishes a proactive rental housing registration and inspection ordinance in Chicago.

Resource Guide: Eviction Process

Chicago Renters' Resource Guide, Chapter 8

This chapter of the Chicago Renters' Resource Guide has been updated and replaced by our Renters' Guide to Eviction Court

EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe there is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead is harmful to health, especially for children. While paint, dust, and soil are the most common sources of lead, drinking water can contribute 40 to 60 percent of an infant's lead exposure. The goal is to remove as much lead from your drinking water as possible. Chicagoans concerned about lead in their drinking water have a number of options to help reduce the amount of lead in their drinking water.

Housing is the lifeline to stability. Eliminating barriers to housing can have a resounding effect on vulnerable individuals and save countless taxpayer dollars. Currently in Cook County, private landlords and local public housing authorities regularly deny an applicant housing if s/he has had a prior arrest record or conviction. Barriers to housing based on criminal screenings are problematic for many reasons.

Every child deserves a safe and healthy home. Across the country, our children our not well and the 4 million children living in federally assisted housing are in peril. These innocent children are being lead poisoned and our current laws do nothing to stop it. Nothing will change without Congressional action. Protect our children’s futures and support the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act (S2631/HR4694).

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 95 percent of homeowners have insurance to cover loss or damage to their property and belongings. However, only 37 percent of renters have a policy to protect their possessions. Common misconceptions are that a landlord's homeowners policy will cover a renter's belongings or that renters insurance is expensive. With more people renting as opposed to buying, it's time for renters to protect themselves in the event of an accident, a theft or a disaster.

Many variables can shape a child’s outcome in life–like the zip code where a child grows up. That’s because not all neighborhoods have the same opportunities and resources, such as quality schools, transportation, housing, healthcare, food and jobs. The good news is that there are many ways to improve our communities so that everyone has a fair chance to succeed, regardless of zip code. You can play a vital role in your local community.

Information from Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) about Illinois' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP. The program is designed to help low-income households pay for their utilities and provides a on-time payment for use towards energy costs. The amount is based on income, household size, fuel type, and geographic location.

As of March 16, 2016, it is illegal to discriminate in Chicago against veterans, active duty military personnel, members of the reserve, and members of the National Guard. The City of Chicago has prepared several flyers, fact sheets and FAQ's to help inform people about new rules.

Under Chapter 5-12 of the Municipal Code of Chicago sections 5-12-081 and 5-12-082, the City Comptroller shall calculate and announce on the first business day of each year, the rate of interest to be paid on security deposits. This page on the City of Chicago's website provides those calculations.

No recycling in your building? Chicago law requires buildings with 5 or more residential units to provide adequate recycling services to occupants. However, the City of Chicago does not enforce this law—and this leads many landlords NOT to provide recycling services to tenants.

Do something about it. Add your report to the registry at My Building Doesn't Recycle to show that your building does not recycle. Your report shows that many buildings are NOT offering recycling and that Chicagoans support stronger recycling laws.

December 2015

Rental housing is home to a growing share of the nation’s increasingly diverse households, but even with the strong rebound in multifamily construction, tight rental markets make it difficult for low- and moderate-income renters to find housing they can afford. As a result, the number of cost-burdened renters set another record last year. Addressing the challenge of affordability in a time of rising overall demand will require greater efforts from both the public and private sectors to expand the range of rental housing options.

The City of Chicago has created rules addressing the April 2015 amendments to the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance. The rules developed by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection address the tenant information disclosure form and a summary which clearly explains a tenant's rights and obligations. The rules developed by the Department of Building address hazardous units. Both are attached here.

There are certain cases when a utility company cannot shut off your service. In these situations, if they disconnect a service, they must restore it.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. The FTC created this guide to help people who need to dispute errors on their credit report.

A interactive webpage which educates on issues related to tenants living in foreclosed buildings.
English / Spanish

The primary goal of John Marshall’s Fair Housing Legal Support Center is to educate the public about fair housing law and to provide legal assistance to those private or public organizations that seek to eliminate discriminatory housing practices. John Marshall's Fair Housing Legal Clinic was established in 1993 by co-founding Professors F. Wills Caruso and Michael P. Seng, and is one of the few law school clinics in the U.S. devoted exclusively to fair housing training and enforcement.

April 2015

This handout, produced by the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, provides an overview of housing discrimination in both English and Spanish.

The year 2013 started out in an ironic twist for LCBH, we found ourselves facing eviction, just like most of our clients. We received an eviction notice from our landlord along with all the other tenants at 100 W. Monroe, with only 90 days to move. Suddenly, we were the renter looking for a new home!

Thanks to the incredible efforts of LCBH staff, Board, and many outside stakeholders, we were able to successfully make the move to 33 N. LaSalle while simultaneously continuing to provide legal and supportive services for our clients at usual levels.