Blog: Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO)

Welcome to LCBH’s Blog. Our blog delivers original articles written by our staff, interns and volunteers. We strive to provide informative stories about the work we do on behalf of Chicago renters and the issues renters face.

LCBH Helps Renter Enforce Her Legal Rights Under the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance

Bianca Brown recently contacted the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) Tenants in Foreclosure Helpline. An LCBH attorney counseled Ms. Brown about her apartment building, which was in foreclosure and now owned by the bank. The attorney explained that under Illinois law there are rights protecting renters in foreclosed buildings, as well as a Chicago ordinance which provides additional protections to renters, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosed Rental Property Ordinance, commonly known as the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO).

LCBH Helps Renter Enforce Her Legal Rights Under the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance

Bianca Brown recently contacted the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) Tenants in Foreclosure Helpline. An LCBH attorney counseled Ms. Brown about her apartment building, which was in foreclosure and now owned by the bank. The attorney explained that under Illinois law there are rights protecting renters in foreclosed buildings, as well as a Chicago ordinance which provides additional protections to renters, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosed Rental Property Ordinance, commonly known as the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO).

We Love Pro Bono

In 2014, 55 attorneys donated more than 3700 hours to the Pro Bono Program at Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) helping families in crisis. In the process, these attorneys developed their litigation skills, learned a new area of law, created new professional relationships and most importantly MADE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of many Chicago renters! Here are some highlights from the LCBH Pro Bono Program from just the 1st quarter of 2015:

Foreclosure Sales Alerts

Early intervention improves neighborhood outcomes
Foreclosure Sales Alerts

LCBH works to provide early warning foreclosure data to our community partners on newly filed foreclosure cases in order to help assist in keeping renters in their home and keeping buildings operational as affordable housing. As the landscape of foreclosure has changed and new laws have been enacted that provide stronger renter protections, the data most needed now by community organizers is foreclosure sales data.

Foreclosure sales data will enable organizers and tenant advocates to conduct targeted door-knocking and other outreach plans throughout Chicago, particularly related to the enforcement of the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO). The protections under the KCRO begin at the point of the confirmation of sale in the foreclosure court case; therefore, the new data will only show properties where there has been a foreclosure sale that has also been confirmed by the court.

LCBH hosted two trainings last month, at which organizers and tenant advocates gained access to the new foreclosure sales data, learned how it works, and had a dataset created and customized to their specific geographic needs. In addition to learning how to access the data, LCBH staff gave a presentation on the laws that affect tenants in foreclosure in the City of Chicago, so that organizers will be best equipped to leverage the new information as effectively as possible in their work.

The APNC team with Cheryl Lawrence, LCBH Executive Director; Anthony G. Hopp, LCBH Board President; Mark Swartz, LCBH Legal Director

Albany Park Neighborhood Council (APNC)
We honor APNC for being an incredible partner and collaborator over the past year on key building and policy victories such as the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance.

Keep Chicago Renting

The Keep Chicago Renting Coalition, comprised of community-based organizations, unions, and policy groups, with a policy committee spearheaded by LCBH, crafted a new ordinance designed to increase local renter protections and to hold successors-in-interest (primarily banks) accountable to tenants in buildings acquired at foreclosure sale. Since early 2012, the group has actively promoted the adoption of this ordinance, the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO) through meetings with aldermen and other city officials, press conferences, policy reports, and other action intended to draw attention to the problems caused by vacant buildings and displaced tenants.