The Hotline has served as MTO’s eyes and ears into the lives of renters. Since its inception in 1994, the MTO Hotline has fielded more than 150,000 calls, carefully collecting information and tracking data on housing issues. In collecting this data, Hotline counselors have spent thousands of hours listening to the stories told by Chicago’s renters. The story of renters in Chicago is that they are increasingly facing unpredictability in the rental housing market, financial stress, and deteriorated living conditions. Their lives are and have been in tumult for years.
– John Bartlett, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization
Above is an except from the State of the Renter report issued by MTO in 2009. For too long, the needs of renters – invaluable investors in our communities – have been marginalized in favor of a policy that focuses only on homeownership. Renters have been regarded as transient occupants rather than stakeholders. MTO recommends a national housing policy that balances homeownership and rental housing. Policy makers have failed to recognize the importance of a stable rental housing market and certainly have an insufficient understanding of the issues facing renters.
An executive summary of the State of the Renter report can be found here. For the full report, click here. We always welcome feedback. Please feel free to leave comments or questions in the space provided at the bottom of this page.