My name is Jon Adams, and I am a leader at ONE Northside. I also am a resident of Wilson Men’s Hotel (and a member of our tenant’s assocation), a Single Resident Occupancy building in Uptown where tenants are fighting for the developer to honor the 2014 SRO ordinance, and find permanent, affordable housing on the North Side for all tenants.
I am writing to ask that you vote yes and sign on as a sponsor for SB3512, our bill that would both lift the ban on rent control and implement rent stabilization in the state of Illinois.
Renters everywhere are facing large rent increases and the decreasing availability of affordable housing. In Illinois, rent burdened individuals and families are paying over 50% of their incomes in rent.
Nationally and statewide, at least 50% of middle income Illinoisans were rent burdened in 2016, and 23% of higher income renters are rent burdened.
My rent has climbed more than once since the 1990s. In certain parts of Chicago, the number of rent burdened households has increased by as much as 58% in 2010. (You can find this on the Lift the Ban website at www.ltbcoalition.org)
The newer, more expensive buildings being built in Chicago and increasing the rents in the surrounding area need regulation. People like me, and everyone facing steep and rising rent, need the stabilization of rent costs.
However, people do not always have a place to move, and they have been paying a good portion of their income for rent that has risen drastically as it is. What does this displacement do to our quality of life?
The building I live in, and have been paying 40% of my income to rent, has been sold. It will be refurbished with reallocation of the interior spaces for larger, much more expensive rentals that I cannot afford.
Most of the people who live in my building now are on fixed incomes, whether SSI or SSDI. The rent increases happening in my building for the last fourteen years were slow but steady: $50 and $20 dollar increases that eventually led to fewer less renters and the sale of the building to a developer.
I am on a fixed income, and I have been searching for somewhere else to live. However, there are no places comparable to what I have been paying. In order to stay in my neighborhood, I will have to pay much higher rent: over half of my income higher rent,
There is need for rent regulation. Lower income people, families, and all renters are losing because of drastically rising rents. Why should renters carry such a burden?
People should not have to deal with huge increases in rent, or the displacement that often results from those increases.
SB3512, our bill, would both lift the ban on rent control and implement rent stabilization in the state of Illinois, so that renters like me are not displaced, and can afford to stay in the neighborhoods we’ve lived in for decades. I hope that you can support this bill, and all rentesr like me.
ONE Northside Community Leader
Wilson Men’s Hotel Tenant Association