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City tries to prepare for eviction surge

Evanston aldermen will get a report Tuesday on city efforts to respond to an expected surge in evictions and foreclosures once pandemic-related emergency rules blocking those legal actions expire.

Evanston aldermen will get a report Tuesday on city efforts to respond to an expected surge in evictions and foreclosures once pandemic-related emergency rules blocking those legal actions expire.

It’s unclear just how many Evanston residents could lose their homes once those bans run out. But a U.S. Census Pulse Survey from last month indicates more than 6% of Chicago area homeowners and 23% of renters are behind on mortgage or rent payments.

The survey also includes the residents assessment of how likely they are to have to leave their home because of eviction or foreclosure within the next two months.

Those assessments may be affected by the on-again-off-again status of plans to extend various bans on foreclosures and evictions at different levels of government as well as by the residents level of optimism about their ability to pay off their debt or have the debt forgiven.

But it appears clear from the survey that far more renters are at risk than homeowners. More than 44% of Evanston households rent.

The city staff report says the city has allocated just over $1 million and Connections for the Homeless is providing just over $500,000 to directly support residents. Much of that money has already been spent, the report says, but about $500,000 has been set aside for the rental assistance program this year.

The report says federal aid from the recently approved Consolidated Appropriations Act is expected to flow to Illinois in the next few months and some portion of that funding should be available from Cook County to assist Evanston residents.

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