I’m struck by the irony when folks lament the shortage of affordable housing, then impose additional burdens — and costs — on those who attempt to provide it. I’m referring to the lawsuit filed by HOPE Fair Housing Center against Oak Park Apartments [News, Aug. 2]. They claim the firm’s no-evictions policy has a disparate impact on Black women.

How long would Kate Walz and her colleagues continue to work for an employer who didn’t pay them on payday? How long could they continue to pay their living expenses without a paycheck? Yet this is what they expect landlords to do, including the nearly half of us who are small property owners. How is that fair?

Organizations like hers made it much more difficult to evict tenants, particularly in Chicago, but also in Cook County. To be fair, the blame for this is shared by the court system and the Sheriff’s Department. I have been through over 100 evictions and have friends who have been through even more. The minimum statutory time frames for each step in the process is 43 days, not counting the time it takes for the sheriff to carry out the eviction order. In reality, it always takes much longer.

I assisted a friend with an eviction last year. It took four months, 11 days, from the filing of the complaint to the eviction. Add in the time it took to serve the five-day notice and wait out the five days, you’re close to five months. That’s five months’ rent lost, yet during that time property taxes, insurance, mortgage and utilities had to be paid. From what?

In my friend’s case, there were no complications, which is rare. He owns one 3-flat and was 74 years old at the time. So the system enabled a tenant to victimize an elderly man whose only other income is Social Security.

No-eviction policies are an attempt to reduce the risk inherent in property ownership. Perhaps there is a happy medium, but fairness dictates that landlords’ legitimate concerns be taken into consideration.

Paul Eichwedel
Austin-area resident

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