Global webinar on tenant struggles in the COVID crisis: Saturday May 9 at 1 pm CST. The National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) sister organization in the UK, Defend Council Housing, is hosting a Global Webinar on Saturday, May 9 at 2 pm EST/ 1pm CST! Panelists from Defend Council Housing; a private housing organizing group in London; a tenants movement group in Barcelona; CASA in the Bronx; and Michael Kane from NAHT will be featured!
Please join the Metropolitan Tenants Organization tonight for a “Crash Course on Tenants Rights: What Chicago- area Renters need to know before the 1st of the month.
Tonight!! Thursday, April 30th 6pm CST live-streamed. Be sure to get your FREE TICKETS here with Eventbrite.
This workshop will review what tenants need to know for May 1st and we will take questions live. We will be discussing what your rights are if you cannot pay your rent, your rights on evictions, and what to do in case of an illegal lockout, and other critical issues for renters.
Panelists will include MTO’s Eviction Prevention Specialist, Philip DeVon & Affordable Housing Preservation Community Organizer, David Wilson.
Click HERE to support MTO’s critical work today. Share this link https://bit.ly/39y69ey with friends, family, and community who can make a donation for housing justice on Tuesday, May 5th for a global day of giving. #Giving Tuesday Now.
Be well, and be safe. And see you tonight!
Thank you for being a part of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization community.
While it was a difficult decision, our team decided to cancel the Annual Spring Affair which was scheduled for Tuesday, April 21st at 6:30pm because we care about your safety and well-being.
Although we won’t be gathering in-person, MTO has #5 ways outlined below to help raise $30,000 for our Tenant Stabilization Programs and Services as we work to prevent homelessness and keep low-income families housed.
We are experiencing high call volume about threats of eviction, illegal lock-outs, unreasonable rent increases, and concerns about the lack of precautions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are dedicated to giving Chicago renters the answers and support needed in real-time to stabilize their housing. If you or someone you know are having issues with their landlord or apartment call our Tenants’ Rights Hotline at 773-292-4988. For swift results get your answers and online tools via our app and web page here at Squared Away Chicago.
We believe that with your help, we can lessen the impact of coronavirus on our mission to educate, empower, and organize low-income renters about their rights. Thank you for your support during this challenging time for our organization and our community as a whole.
Sincerely, Team MTO
#5 Ways You Can Continue to Support MTO
#1. Donate Your Ticket(s) OR make a donation here to MTO’s Tenant Stabilization Programs & Services
While the Annual Spring Affair is cancelled and we explore ways to get together virtually, you can choose to donate the cost of your ticket(s) to benefit housing stability for low-income renters in Chicago. You can choose to donate here and or share the link https://bit.ly/39y69ey with friends and colleagues. If you seek a refund contact Aisha- firstname.lastname@example.org.
#2. Make your online purchases through Amazon Smiles.
MTO supports human rights. We stand in solidarity with labor movements for access and justice, like Amazon workers in Chicago who organized and won PTO for all workers. Our constituents who are Amazon shoppers can choose to shop https://smile.amazon.com/ and reply “Metropolitan Tenants Organization’ when asked about your supporting organization. 0.05% of proceeds from your purchase goes to MTO.
#3. Stay tuned with Chicago Renters & Housing Advocates via MTO Weekly E-Newsletter
Choose to read and share our weekly e-news alerts with stories about what Chicago renters are dealing with during COVID-19 pandemic, housing resources, and updates on our fundraising, housing justices campaigns, and policies.
#4. Let’s See if Your Employer Will Double Your Donation
Right now, every little bit helps. If you’re able to donate here today, together let’s find out if your company will match your gift.
#5. Join Us on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/MTOchicago/We can’t gather in person, but we can still gather! Join us in upcoming fun-raising events and discussions on Facebook Live. Follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss it!
What You Should Know
(Updated on 4/24/20)
This executive order does not apply to essential services that you may need to leave your house for including physician visits, vet visits, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, essential infrastructure and public transit.
Tips for Chicago Renters
- Take Action –> Sign the Petition: DEMAND A RENT FREEZE NOW!
- Ask your landlord or property manager how they are responding to the crisis and what they are doing to ensure residents safety.
- Call/text/email your neighbors, friends, and family, especially if they are Seniors.
Are You Unable to Pay Rent?
- Talk to your landlord or property manager right now if you anticipate an issue paying rent. Put all your conversations in writing.
- If you live in private market housing, use the sample letter below to draft a letter to your landlord immediately.
- If you live in subsidized housing, make sure you request a re-certification immediately. Use the sample letter below to send a request to your housing provider.
*For more info about a specific topic, click any headline below*
How to Get Help
To apply for unemployment benefits, click here.
To apply for Medicaid health insurance, click here.
To apply for SNAP food benefits, click here.
To apply for Rental Assistance with IL Dept. of Housing, click here.
To apply for Rental Assistance with the City of Chicago, click here.
- Food Resources– The Greater Chicago Food Depository has been buying more food and packaging thousands of grab and go meals so families can maintain social distancing. The outreach team is also available to assist people who need to get connected to the snap program. Their number is (773) 8430-5416. Food pantry- Care for Real
NOTE: All TANF and SNAP work requirements are currently suspended until mid-April, at least. Individuals who have a work requirement will not be penalized for not meeting at this time. You will be excused for “good cause” and will continue to receive your SNAP and TANF benefits
How can I get help from HUD or CHA?
- HUD is open for business but will NOT accept walk-in visitors at this time. They will provide services via phone/online while they focus efforts on serving people most in need.
- Online: Click Here
- Email: Send an email to: IL_Webmanager@hud.gov (note: underscore between IL_ and Webmanager)
- By Phone: Call your local office: (312) 353-6236
- CHA is open for business but will NOT accept walk-in visitors at this time.
- Online: Click Here
- By Phone: Call your local office: (312) 742-8500
- No matter who your housing provider is, you should contact them immediately if your income has changed. Send them a letter requesting an income re-certification.
More COVID-19 Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- State, County and local resource lists
- Situation updates
- Information specific to renters who need assistance
- Downloadable factsheets and flyers in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese
- Health and hygiene recommendations
- Travel guidance
- Situation updates
- Information specific to schools, workplaces, etc.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Regularly posted updates on new cases in Illinois
- Updated cautions and advisories
- Recommendations specific to Illinois
- Information for healthcare providers and communities
- Detailed health and hygiene recommendations
- Contact information for suburban Cook County
- Information for individuals: Clean, Cover and Contain
COVID-19 INFO HOTLINES
Illinois Dept. of Public Health’s hotline: 800-889-3931 or email email@example.com
The City of Chicago hotline: 312-746-4835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a specific question?
Do you live in Evanston? Check out the virtual training below:
To our community In order to protect the health and safety of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s staff, volunteers, members and community, our office are closed until March 30th. More communications from our team is underway. Thank you for patience.
We encourage everyone to follow CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health guidelines to limit social contact as much as possible.
MTO’s staff and volunteers will continue to answer our tenants’ crisis line and to provide as much assistance as possible over the phone from our homes. We promise to remain vigilant during this period of emergency to advocate for the housing rights of everyone. If you need assistance, please call 773-292-4988 to reach our crisis hotline and leave message.
Additional Resources on COVID-19
We understand the importance of timely, accurate and helpful communication to visit trusted sources of public health information,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Chicago Department of Health
World Health Organization
We are excited to announce MTO’s Annual Spring Affair: Shining Stars for Fair Housing will be Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6:30pm-8:30pm doors open at (6:00pm), at Masada Restaurant located at 2206 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647. The event will celebrate trailblazers and budding stars working to advance fair housing in and beyond Chicago
Buy 1 Tix & Gift 1 Tix $130 (to tenant leaders, volunteers, and staff)
Do you believe housing is human right? Does your job, group, place of worship, or business seek to support community? If so, click here now and consider becoming a sponsor.
Aisha Truss-Miller, at 773-292-4980 ext. 236 or email email@example.com
We are excited to announce MTO’s Annual Spring Affair: Shining Stars for Fair Housing will be Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6:30pm-8:30pm doors open at (6:00pm), at Masada Restaurant located at 2206 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647.
Shining Stars supports trailblazers and emerging leaders working to advance fair housing in Chicago, by bringing together organizers, advocates, and contributors for a night of celebration. We hope we can count on your support to make 2020’s Annual Spring Affair one of our best events yet!
2020 Sponsor Opportunities:
Click here to learn more and become a PLATINUM SPONSOR $5,000
Click here to learn more and become a GOLD SPONSOR $2,500
Click here to learn more and become a SILVER SPONSOR $1,000
Click here to learn more and become a BRONZE SPONSOR $500
For more information contact Aisha Truss-Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (773) 292-4980 ext. 236
Tickets go on-sale Tues. 2/4/2020
MTO is tremendously grateful for members and donors like you.With your support over the holiday season we raised over $6,000 for our Tenant Stabilization Programs.
It’s not too late to make your investment towards housing justice with MTO
Your gift helps Chicago & Cook County renters to know and act on their rights through MTO’s core programs and services:
1. Building Organizing * Tenant Association Formation & Growth * MTO’s HUD Tenant Committee * Leadership Development
2. Advocacy Campaigns * Development for All * Homes for All * Chicago Healthy Homes Inspection Program * (CHHIP)Lift the Ban on Rent Control * Just Cause to Evict 3. Tenant Stabilization Programs * Healthy Homes * Eviction Prevention * Tenants’ Rights Hotline Services
Please explore MTO’s website for campaign updates, events, and opportunities to volunteer and/or donate.
MTO wishes you cheer and a Happy New Year, as 2019 winds down. We appreciate the support of our donors, volunteers, and members. Your investment makes a difference. Thank you!
In 2019, MTO helped preserve 1,206 affordable housing units, prevented over 200 families from eviction, and provided assistance to over 15,000 low-income renting households. Our services, organizing, and advocacy are rooted in the rights of renters and a vision that everyone deserves access to safe and healthy affordable housing. Making change requires research, learning and relationship building. It also requires time and money. For example, a $1,000 donation to MTO’s Eviction Prevention Program will help 5 families from becoming homeless or displaced. A gift of $250 allows us to inspect the home of a family living in health hazardous conditions. $25 covers the cost of a Tenants’ Rights Hotline call; 9,000 calls were completed this year.
Donations of any size brings MTO a step closer to best serving our most vulnerable renters. Consider making a gift today to keep the movement for housing justice moving. Click here to donate now. Your donation will help MTO support housing stability for thousands of low-income renters in Chicago and Cook County.
Please make a 2019 tax-deductible, year-end contribution.
Tenants living in buildings owned by the Better Housing Foundation continue to experience uncertainty even as the City of Chicago building court system attempts to make rulings intended to improve their housing via appointment of limited receivers. Despite these decisions, sometimes tenant concerns can get lost in the shuffle. One such family – the Finkle’s – reached out to Amy de la Fuente, one of MTO’s court advocates, about mold, mushrooms and water damage in their unit. Mrs. Finkle hear about MTO when her neighbor attended building court the previous month After speaking with Amy, Mrs. Finkle asked her son to email photos of the unit conditions to Amy, who in turn shared the photos with the program officer from CIC in charge of the building. Mrs. Finkle, who is wheelchair bound, also encouraged her son to attend court on her behalf to speak about the conditions.
Young Mr. Finkle, who suffers from asthma, attended court. He met with Amy and prepared his talking points. When the judge called his building, he and several neighbors from the building stepped forward to ask questions and express their concerns. With Amy by his side, Mr. Finkle advocated to safe, decent and healthy housing for himself and his mother. The judge, city attorney and program officer all listened and asked questions. The judge granted the temporary receiver authorization to make repairs related to water damage and to relocate tenants as necessary. As he left the courtroom, Mr. Finkle turned to Amy, shook her hand and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
MTO and their partner agency, the Community Investment Corporation, have worked diligently for the past nine months to help preserve affordable housing and keeps tenants stably housed in over 75 Better Housing Foundation buildings. Their work, coupled with strong tenant advocacy, like that of the Finkle family, has led to positive outcomes for residents living in these buildings.