Chicago residents call for rent freeze during pandemic

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CHICAGO — Some Chicago residents are calling for a rent freeze, saying the pandemic has caused extreme financial hardships.

Thousands signed an online petition calling for protections including a freeze on rent, mortgages and utility payments.

Some say they are prepared to strike come April 1. Among them is 23-year-old Theodore Bourget.

The Chicago Tribune reports he’s lost both of his jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak and he and his partner are having a hard time affording rent on their apartment.

City officials haven’t directly responded to questions about a freeze, but have pointed to other relief such as grant programs.

Community activist Raul Montes is also demanding Governor Pritzker put an indefinite freeze  on rent for small businesses who had to close due to the state’s stay-at-home order.

He says the $90 million of COVID-19 relief the state is giving to small businesses won’t be nearly enough to cover rent and all the other expenses.   

Governor pritzker has already ordered a halt to residential eviction cases until April 8.  

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