COVID-19 eviction moratoriums ended in October. For many students, rent has not been affected due to leases being signed before then.
But now, the future looks uncertain.
As the price of housing increases and the state of Illinois’ minimum wage continues to increase by only a dollar a year, paying the bills is causing many people’s financial worries.
That uncertain future has highlighted an important realization: landlords survive off a predatory, exploitative system and are fundamentally wrong on a moral level.
McLean County does not have rent control laws. This, coupled with the end of the moratorium, helped make evictions and rent increases much more common in Bloomington-Normal.
As students sign new leases for the upcoming school year, new worries are setting in.
According to WGLT, 127 evictions were filed in McLean County the same month the moratorium ended.
While the end of the moratorium may be old news, the effects are still reaching renters today.
While the major renting agencies in Normal may have kept their prices stable temporarily, nothing is stopping independent renters from gouging on housing.
The end of the moratorium made it clear that landlords at large do not care about their tenants. The second they were able to, they kicked the people who depended upon them for as basic a human need as shelter to the curb.
Not only did evictions soar, so did renting prices. The New York Times reported a 10.3% increase in rent nationally after the end of the moratorium.
Housing is a right. No one, including students, should have to pay to stay warm or dry.
College is a stressful time already. Adding the fear of eviction, which is all the more likely now, on top of that is wrong. Many students are forced to work part-time or full-time jobs while they study.
The current renting situation is doubtful to be changed any time soon. So, in the meantime, certain preventions should be put in place.
McLean County needs rent control. The eviction moratorium should be extended. Something needs to be done to stop this greed and exploitation.