Chicago based Democratic Representative, Monique D. Davis, has put forth a piece of legislation that will privatize the eviction process. The legislation will allow for-profit corporations and contractors to enter into the eviction business. This potentially means that the process of evictions will become more strenuous than they already are. This is disconcerting for a city that already suffers from high unemployment, high poverty, and record gun violence. According to the report, Representative Davis is said to own five apartment buildings in Chicago and is known for having landlord issues.
The Cook County Sheriff Department has come out against the proposed law. Cook County Sheriff director of communications, Benjamin Breit, stated:
Evictions are inherently difficult and often tragic, particularly when children and other at-risk populations are involved. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is able to provide social services to families that we are ordered to evict because we care about them. Placing this authority with those that have a financial stake in the process would incur unthinkable consequences.”
According to RollingOut.com, the manner in which the law was written by Representative Davis makes it apply only to areas with populations of three million or more. Davis, a landlord herself, crafted the bill such that Cook county is the only county in which this law is applicable. This means that the impact of the law will only target Chicago.
Chicago evictions are currently executed by special sheriff’s units trained to handle the complicated and, often, emotional nature of evictions. Social workers are also dispatched to aid families with children, the disabled, and the elderly. The new law enables off-duty police officers to execute evictions on behalf of private corporations. And although those officers are off duty, they still have the ability to carry their weapons and make arrests.
The law also restricts a tenant’s ability to file for a delay in the eviction for special situations including disabilities. The new law allows for the possibility of evictions at gunpoint, a reality of Chicago evictions that had previously been banned due to protests and actions of advocacy groups.
Source: Financial Juneteenth