County program offers rent assistance to prevent evictions

Eviction illustration Photo credit Getty Images

Thousands of people in suburban Cook County could be facing eviction when a moratorium expires in just over three weeks.

Thursday, officials announced an aid program for suburban Cook County renters.

Mary Ellen Ball, CEO of Open Communities, fears an explosion of homelessness. Her North Shore-based organization aims to keep people housed.

When a family is evicted, it is life-shattering, she said. Even if it’s straightened out later in court, it’s always on the renter’s record.

“The minute you go to rent anywhere else, the landlord is going to look at that and say, ‘Oh my God, I’m not going to rent to you,’” Ball said.

“The only landlords that will rent to you are what we lovingly call ‘the slumlords.’”

Open Communities is one of the organizations that’s helping people apply for just-announced Cook County Emergency Rental Assistance for those affected by the pandemic.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images