BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Renters are banding together as part of the Bloomington-Normal Renters Union.
At the end of August, The state of Illinois eviction moratorium ends, leaving many people who rent apartments or houses in limbo and questioning where to go.
The Bloomington-Normal renters union, which was founded in 2019, is helping renters know their rights.
“It was developed out of a need for advocacy for renters,” Zach Carlson, the Lead Member of the Tenant’s Union, said.
Carlson said the group is growing as many renters are facing potential utility shutoffs and evictions as things from the pandemic slowly return to normal. He said that he believes all the moratoriums need to stay in place.
“You can have an eviction moratorium all you want, but if you don’t have electricity or water, what shelter do you really have,” Carlson said.
Last month, Bloomington’s council ended its 15-month emergency ordinance, which will eventually end the city’s leniency on late or no utility payments.
“We’re talking through how and when to transition out of that, that is still in place. The utility moratorium is still in place,” Bloomington Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said.
Tyus said they hope to find an even balance between renters as well as the landlords.
“During this last year, we’ve worked to maintain that balance, you know this city provided access to almost $1 million in assistance,” Tyus said.
For Carlson, the goal now is getting more members and letting people know their renters’ rights, and long term, doing away with landlords entirely.
“People need rental like households, but it’s the landlord who makes the profit off of you, so how can we do a not-for-profit system that cuts out the middle-man, who reduces rent by hundreds of dollars at a time,” Carlson said.
Tyus encourages those who need it to check out state and local programs available for assistance
Illinois eviction moratorium expires on August 31.