BMO Harris Bank, once one of Chicago’s proudest banking institutions, moved to foreclose on the 24-unit complex at 72nd & Wentworth in April of 2015. When banks foreclose on buildings, the law requires them to appoint a “Receiver” in order to maintain the property and avoid disrepair. Millennium Properties – who BMO Harris Bank chose to oversee the Englewood property in July of 2015- has failed miserably on that requirement.
Major repairs are needed at the building, yet, according to 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer’s office, no building permits have been applied for. The only application is for the renewal of a now 8-year old permit for scaffolding. The situation is dire. Rotting floors are everywhere, including the common area, while Millennium is nowhere. Tenants throughout the building report bed bugs, mold, and competing rodents: rats, cats, mice, roaches. Other unaddressed issues include a collapsing ceiling in an apartment corresponding to the sink hole in the floor of the apartment above it.
Last week the City ordered Millennium to board up the doors that led to collapsed porches. The building is crumbling due to neglect. Tenants have no indication from Millennium on when the porches themselves might be fixed. What Millennium has done instead is move to evict tenants including an elderly veteran woman.
Confusion reigns because mandated notification requirements have been ignored. No less than three separate entities have tried to collect rent, often at the same time. If Millennium is able to empty the building by the time the foreclosure becomes final, then BMO Harris Bank will be “off the hook” in paying up to $10,600 in relocation assistance to tenants as mandated by the city’s Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance. Without immediate action, Chicago is likely to lose more affordable housing units. BMO Harris Bank’s website advertises that one of its corporate Principles is Follow Both the Spirit and the Letter of the Law. Will BMO Harris Bank live up to its principles? Please tell BMO Harris and Millennium Properties to:
1.) Follow the law
2.) Pay tenants relocation assistance, and3.) Respect the human rights of Englewood tenants!
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