Landlord Legal Challenge


Last March, Governor Pritzker ordered a moratorium on evictions through July 31 as part of his lock-down order. In late June, when a group of landlords filed a lawsuit opposing the moratorium as unconstitutional, legal aid took on the challenge by filing an amicus brief. While attorneys at other organizations crafted legal arguments, CVLS organized nearly 30 organizations to sign on to the brief and Prairie State Legal Services finalized and filed it. The judge granted our motion for leave to file the amicus brief, carefully reviewing the concerns we raised. On July 15, the judge considered the landlord’s motion for a TRO and the Governor’s motion to dismiss. Thanks to our efforts, the court had a much better understanding of the extreme hardships our clients have faced.

Since then, multiple judges in Illinois have upheld Pritzker’s authority under state law to govern the state by executive order for as long as the governor believes the COVDI-19 pandemic persists. At the time this article was written, Governor Pritzker extended his eviction moratorium to August 22. During the three week extension, state officials set up an launched the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program through the Illinois Housing Development Authority. This program allows renters who need help to apply for a $5,000 rental assistance grant paid directly to their landlords. A similar Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) Program was also created offering $15,000 grants payable to loan companies for property owners who have fallen behind due to COVID-19.

CVLS is proud to partner with the IHDA on both of these programs, as well as offering mortgage forbearance through the national CARES act. Our attorneys have been working overtime preparing for the massive wave of eviction and foreclosure filings expected at the end of the moratorium. If you are an attorney with experience in eviction or other housing related cases, and want to lend a hand, please contact Matt Hulstein for details.

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