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With Eviction Moratorium Over, Many Chicagoans In Need Of Rental Assistance Are Still In Limbo

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The nationwide moratorium on evictions is over, but thousands are still waiting to find out if help is on the way.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Monday night, no one can predict how many eviction filings will take place in courthouses like the Daley Center over the next week.

It is making life very stressful for some who are behind on their rent and still waiting to find out if they will get any assistance. The same goes for landlords owed money.

We have found thee there is still a lot of confusion.

This all comes after 17 months of uncertainty and struggle as it was for thousands of renters and landlords. And even though the State of Illinois, County of Cook, and City of Chicago are offering rental assistance, there are thousands of people left wondering if they're going to get it.

"I applied about the second day the tenant portion was open," said renter Jenn Peterson.

She did so through the State of Illinois' rental assistance program – and that was a month ago. As of Monday night, she was still waiting to find out if she will get financial assistance for June, July, and August – or not.

"I'm just always pending. It says it hasn't been reviewed yet. And when I inquired earlier last week, they said – my state rep's office said they thought it could still be the end of August before I get approved or denied," Peterson said.

Jeff Weinberg owns hundreds of rental units.

"Evictions need to be a last resort," he said. "These programs need to work."

Weinberg also believes there needs to be more information. He has had 19 tenants apply for rental assistance – seven have been approved, eight are in limbo, and seven were voided.

"We don't know why. We don't know where. We don't know if it was our end or on the tenants' end," he said.

That pending help is on the Cook County Sheriff's office's radar. Before an eviction actually can be scheduled, sheriff's employees are supposed to make sure the landlord has not gotten, or is not waiting for, any rental assistance cash.

But in one snag, Cook County Sheriff's Senior Advisor Rebecca Levin said it is up to the landlord to tell the truth.

"County stakeholders, Chicago stakeholders, state stakeholders are studying to try to figure out some better stopgaps, but right now, yes, that does require the housing provider to fill out that verification form," Levin said.

According to Gov. JB Pritzker's office, there are still about 25,000 applications in need of review.

Landlords have two more weeks to finish their end of a tenant's application.

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