22
October , 2018
Monday

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CHICAGO, IL – Garfield Park tenants who were the victims of an illegal utility shut-off will gather for a press conference at Daley Plaza on today, Oct. 22 at 10:15 a.m. to demand that Stabilis Capital Management, the court-appointed receiver of their building, cease attempts to evict them and demolish their building. Joined by neighbors and supporters from Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, tenants will rally outside before attending court to learn the fate of their 14-unit apartment building.

Tenants at 506/508 N Monticello have been without gas or water for nearly three weeks after their water pipes were physically removed in an attempt to force them to leave. Now they have been told they must vacate their apartment building by October 23, giving them only a few days to move, because the receiver is seeking to have the building demolished.

But tenants say that the building, which Bank of America began foreclosing on in 2011, is still habitable. They believe that Stabilis Capital, a firm that invests in distressed commercial real estate, stands to profit by persuading the city to foot the bill for demolition rather than making necessary repairs. Tenants are demanding that their utilities be turned back on, and that the receiver either honor their leases and make repairs, or give them adequate relocation expenses and time to move.

“This used to be a beautiful building until the receiver stopped keeping it up properly,” says tenant Shannah Sipp, who has lived in the building with her husband and two children since October 2008. “Why spend public money to demolish it when so many people need places to live?” In June, Sipp spent $450 out of her own pocket to have the water pipes replaced when the property manager refused to make repairs, only to have the pipes torn out this month.

The tenants’ ordeal is part a growing trend of illegal “back-door” evictions in foreclosed buildings. Last month, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against Safeguard Properties LLC for illegally evicting homeowners through lockouts, utility shut-offs and other tactics before foreclosures are finalized, but housing groups believe the problem extends beyond one company.

“Across the city, tenants are not being notified they are being put out until a city inspector comes and tells them they must vacate—even if they have been paying rent and attempting to make complaints about conditions,” says Holly Krig, an organizer with Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction. “Rental properties in foreclosure often change hands many times without repairs being made, until they end up in demolition.  Banks and investors made their money, and now the public will pay to demolish housing.”

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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