FILE - J.B. Pritzker, Springfield, Virus Outbreak Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Springfield, Ill.

(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has again extended the stay on evictions in Illinois even though less than one percent of tracked renters nationwide are missing payments.

The governor’s office announced the executive order Friday, extending the moratorium on evictions until Nov. 14.

“There won’t be any major news but we are looking at how we might make adjustments,” Pritzker said. “Nothing really has changed in terms of the effect of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, its effect on people’s jobs and their ability, or inability, to pay their rent or mortgage.”

Pritzker’s eviction ban is one of the more expansive in the nation, containing no means testing mechanism or other documentation on behalf of a tenant to prove a hardship. Property owners, many of whom are one or two-unit owning retirees who depend on the rent, say they’re losing their nest eggs.

“We are being crushed by this eviction rule,” said Loretta Facchini, a retiree who owns one rental property with her husband in suburban Vernon Hills. “People’s entire retirements are either going or are gone. Our tenants are both working. We can’t evict them and we are losing money. We had to go into our savings to pay for the property taxes and mortgage. We are out about $30,000 since January 2020.”

Facchini said they’re afraid the moratorium will expand into winter when county sheriffs are hesitant to kick people out of their homes. 

“I’m seventy years old and my husband is seventy-four. We are both retired. We worked hard to buy a rental second home so we could have a little extra income when we retired," she said. "Not all landlords are wealthy millionaires. We would like to sell the house but can’t kick them out.”

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced that he would suspend all evictions following Pritzker's order. 

“The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has suspended enforcement of residential evictions except for emergency orders from the court stemming from health and safety concerns for the duration of the Governor’s Executive Order,” according to the sheriff’s office website.

The National Multifamily Housing Council tracks rent payments in more than 11 million properties. The council found 94.6% of renters it tracked had paid rent in September of this year, a .9 percentage point difference from the same month in 2019.

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.