Summer 2021 Edition
Rogers Park Builder
There have been a lot of twists and turns in the saga of the many eviction moratoria that have been imposed on housing providers, and that seem to never go away. But there are cracks in the wall. As I write this article, the federal ban on evictions, put out by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), appears to be dead after a 6-3 ruling by the US Supreme Court decided that the CDC had exceeded its authority. But it’s another story in Illinois where it’s Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football – over and over again. This little drama stars Governor Pritzker as Lucy, and housing providers in the role of the ever-gullible and hapless Charlie Brown.
This is a fast-moving topic, and the odds are good that by the time anyone reads this, things will have changed again. But for what it’s worth, here’s a quick overview of where we’ve been, where we are now, and what may be coming.
Kiser Group and the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance (NBOA) surveyed over 150 Chicago housing providers to determine the effect of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) on the rental housing market in the Chicago area and its impact on rent collections and the neighborhood housing landscape since the onset of the pandemic.
The respondents collectively own approximately 27,000 rental units throughout Chicagoland. As was the case with previous survey iterations, over two-thirds (approx. 70%) of the respondents consisted of small and mid-sized housing providers who own fewer than 100 rental units and/or own ten or fewer buildings.
Inclusionary zoning has gotten a lot of attention in Chicago over this past year! A related article in this Newsletter looks at the recently released Inclusionary Housing Task Force Staff Report, issued by the City’s Department of Housing in September. The Staff Report contains a range of recommendations, some of which our industry will likely support, and others that range from intriguing to downright scary.
Not surprisingly, some of the most strident voices on the far left of the political spectrum are responsible for the most over-the-top recommendations that made their way into the Staff Report. This faction has a standard-bearer. His name is Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Alderman of the 25th Ward, representing Pilsen and nearby areas. Alderman Sigcho-Lopez was one of the Aldermanic Co-Sponsors of the Task Force along with Harry Osterman (48th Ward) and Walter Burnett (27th Ward).
In the Fall 2020 Newsletter, we reported encouraging progress in the efforts of RPBG Director Ibrahim Shihadeh to build a new, seven-story apartment building with garage parking on the 1200-block of West Pratt Avenue. A lot has happened since then. None of it is good news for housing providers and developers.
Mr. Shihadeh had an initial agreement with the Alderwoman to set aside “10% affordable units plus one.” But, very quickly, this agreement was taken back to be replaced with demands for a larger allocation of affordable units. In recent months, the Alderwoman has insisted she will not approve any development that does not include a 20% set-aside at rents that are affordable to households earning as little as 30% of area median income (AMI).
Landlord Tenant 101 and Contract Law

Mike Glasser, RPBG President
My friend, former Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti, recently asked me to speak via Zoom to his class of law students from Northern Illinois University College of Law. My talk focused on real estate law and the implications of laws enacted by various bodies of government.

As Bob was taking roll, I reflected on my own years in law school, and how intimidated I felt when my law school professors took roll.

When Bob afforded me the opportunity to speak, I tried out some humor. “Years ago, I too was a law student. I attended John Marshall Law School. We called it ‘the Harvard of the Loop’.”
Steve Cain
I was trying to decide what to write for the Summer Newsletter. I thought about topics like the zombie eviction moratoria – just when you think they are finally dead, they pop back to life yet again… or all those billions of federal relief dollars earmarked for rent relief that were supposed to keep tenants and housing providers alive, but that have been endlessly tied up in red tape and administrative hell... or the elephant in the room – the Delta variant of COVID-19 that is rampaging across the country and that has completely dashed our brief hope that we would be “back to normal” by the Fourth of July.

But then I decided I’d better come up with something else. I know everyone is getting sick of hearing me bitch, bitch, bitch! So I scratched my head and pondered – what can I write about that is both exciting and globally interesting. Of course, there was really only one possible answer… the 2020 US Census!
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Rogers Park Builders Group encourages and supports responsible residential and commercial property investment, development, and ownership in the Rogers Park community.