Proposed ordinance would keep Chicago renters in foreclosed properties

Chicago aldermen are expected to introduce the ordinance this week

July 23, 2012

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Chicago aldermen are expected to introduce an ordinance this week that would keep renters in buildings going through foreclosure.

As of now, if a building gets foreclosed on, any renters inside are kicked out by the bank that takes control of the property, even if they're responsible tenants who pay their rent every month. 

Daniel La Spata, from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said the ordinance will fix two problems that he and other community organizers have seen around the city.

Diane Limas of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council and Ashley Dearborn of the Metropolitan Tentants Organization stopped by Eight Forty-Eight on Monday to talk about the new renters' ordinance with Chicago magazine columnist Dennis Rodkin.

"How do we keep those tenants, those renters from being displaced? And how do we keep more vacant properties [from] coming into our neighborhood?" he said.

Under the ordinance, banks would have to let renters stay in their units until the property is sold to a third party.

"Is it not common sense?" said First Ward Ald. Joe Moreno, one of the co-sponsors of the ordinance. "We’re not asking for people to stay in their properties for free. We’re not asking for people who are in there doing nefarious things to stay. We’re talking about everyday Chicagoans that are paying their rent and have paid for years and sometimes decades." 

Representatives from Bank of America and Wells Fargo declined to comment on the proposal. 

The full City Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday.