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Tenants Are Encouraged To Apply For Rental Assistance Before The October 3rd Deadline

CHICAGO (CBS) - We're only days away from the end of Illinois' eviction moratorium. Governor Pritzker has extended the moratorium multiple times since the beginning the pandemic, but it appears it will finally be lifted this weekend.

Nervous tenants who haven't paid their rent in months face losing their homes, but as CBS 2's Jim Williams reports, lots of people are making a last-minute effort to sign up for the state's rental assistance program.

Here at the Allen Metropolitan CME Church the rush is on.

"The response is tremendous. Even this morning before we got here this morning at 8 O'clock, they were here waiting," said Rev. Dr. David Bryant.

Waiting for help in the days before Governor Pritzker's eviction moratorium is lifted this weekend on October 3rd.

"They're coming in from all over the region, actually. Our phones are ringing off the hook," said Rev. Eunita Rushing.

The Roseland church is helping these tenants apply for the state's rent assistance program. Shauna Berry lost her job a month ago.

"It's stressful, it's sleepless nights, it's strife in the home," said Berry.

The church pastor, the Rev. David Bryant, says they've passed out more than five thousand fliers and word is spreading.

Those helping tenants have allies in the effort to spread the word, landlords who in some cases haven't received a rent check in nearly a year.

"I have three properties," said Landlord Carshena Ross. She urged her tenants behind in their rent payments to come to the church.

"It's definitely in the process. We are probably at the final step right now," said Ross.

While there's a dash to beat the ending of the moratorium, attorney Michael Zink does not envision massive evictions after October 3rd.

"I think a lot of the tenants and housing providers are working together still. Everybody realizes that some tenants are still in financial difficult times. The last place anyone wants to be is the eviction court."

Trying to keep renters out of eviction court is the goal of community groups and churches across the city, including Tomi Moore of the Action Coalition of Englewood.

"The message is to breathe. Come on out. Take an opportunity to come to 6455 South Peoria and get the assistance and the help that you need, and if we can't help you we're going to try our best to find someone else who can."

Tenants who need assistance with the program can visit the Allen Metropolitan CME Church located at 10946 S. Lowe or call 773.568.1200, and AGORA Community Services located at 6455 S. Peoria or call 872-222-9904.

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