The world-wide spread of COVID-19 has put everything at a standstill. Those who are lucky enough to not be sick are burdened with the unforeseeable future that lies ahead of them when it comes to where their next check is coming from. Bills, food, and rent are top priorities with no certain regulation as to how it can be properly secured and paid for. In Chicago, Gov. Pritzker stated how there is no mandated authority from his end that he may enact a statewide halt on rent payments.
What does this mean for the residents of Chicago?
With the Chicago housing market at a standstill, it is being reported that property sale listings are down over 11% compared to this time last year. Once the stay-at-home order was consecrated in mid-March, new property listings have plummeted. Around 8.7 thousand newly available listings in the first week of March versus 4.2 thousand new listings in the end of March.
Mayor Lightfoot has been working to propose and put forth the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant Program.
This allows the retrieval of $1,000 checks issued to around 2,000 Chicagoland residents chosen at random. In reference to the Illinois Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997, regulatory orders of rent payments over private properties can’t be enforced with. This is going to be a state-wide struggle for those who are not receiving a steady income at this present time. There are council-held groups that are being formed for those who are unable to pay their rent. The Chicago Rent Freeze Coalition is currently being led by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.
We all can hope that the spread of COVID-19 lowers within the coming weeks. The uncertainty and fear of what comes next in all aspects plagues us all. But it is during these times that unification and order must be met. Practicing social distancing is the key component for us all to do without hesitation. Staying safe and healthy as a society is how this can be conquered and everyday life may come back to all of our lives.