The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Housing in a Pandemic:
The Landlords Come First

May 4, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Chicago area have lost their jobs and cannot pay their rent or mortgage.

In response, the governor of Illinois put a temporary ban on evictions. Chicago’s mayor asked landlords to “give tenants some grace” and set up a Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge in an attempt to get landlords and mortgage lenders to avoid touching off a wave of evictions and foreclosures. But the pledge just promises that two or three months missed rent or mortgage payments will be spread out and added to normal monthly payments—which will still be impossible for many to pay.

Despite the eviction ban and the “pledge,” unemployed tenants are already reporting that landlords are refusing to renew leases. Are they being stopped from doing so? No. After all, it was only a voluntary “pledge” to begin with!

Even during a pandemic, whatever politicians say, this system is set up to make sure that the owners get their money.