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Pritzker Deciding Whether To Halt Evictions Again

Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker says he is considering extending a moratorium on evictions beyond the end of July.  During a stop in Rockford, Thursday, Pritzker was asked if he planned to renew the order when it expires at the end of the month.

As part of his emergency orders surrounding COVID-19, the governor had halted evictions for unpaid rent and mortgages in Illinois.   With that set to expire in two weeks, the governor said he is focused on the issue.

“And so its vitally important that we continue to support renters and people who own their homes that are unable to pay their mortgages,” he said.

Housing rights groups continue to push for a longer grace period, while groups representing property owners oppose the ban on evictions.    Opposition groups were influential in killing a legislative effort to provide more rental assistance during the spring legislative session. 

While major funding for aid was unable to pass, the state has been providing some housing assistance.

“We’re going to be evaluating whether the moratoriums we put in place, the executive order we put in place should remain there.  We’re going to be talking about how much money we’re providing.and what the process is to make sure people can get that money to pay their rent. Back rent as well as going forward,” said Pritzker.

According to Forbes Magazine, at one point, all 50 states had some type of eviction prevention in place, although some states have removed that protection.

Federal protection, which prevented eviction in certain circumstances expires July 25.

At the appearance in Rockford, Pritzker also urged all residents to fill out the 2020 census. About two-thirds of Illinois households have already completed it.

Census takers will be outside grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses in Illinois to help people fill out the once-in-a-decade population survey.

Sam Fettig – a partnership coordinator at the Census Bureau – said in a media availability this week that the bureau is targeting neighborhoods where fewer people have responded.

“Census staff will be in those low responding tracks, the tracks that are lagging a bit behind in response rates, what we want to see looking for places that are outside to be safe, maintain social distancing, where people are coming and going.”

People who fill out the questionnaire online, over the phone or by mail now will avoid getting a knock on their door later.

Census takers will begin going door-to-door in parts of Chicago, Cook County, DeKalb and Peoria at the end of the month. The nationwide follow-up operation starts in mid-August.

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