Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project

Ensuring the laws protecting renters are upheld throughout the foreclosure process.

Since 2008, the Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project (TFIP) has worked to ensure that the laws protecting renters are upheld throughout the foreclosure process. LCBH provides legal representation, advocacy, and educational workshops for a variety of stakeholders including attorneys, community advocates, and renters. TFIP works diligently to preserve affordable housing units that are being lost to foreclosure throughout the neighborhoods of Chicago, in the suburbs and other impacted areas of Illinois. LCBH is the only legal aid agency in the Chicago area that focuses solely on the issues facing renters living in foreclosed buildings.

Your support makes it possible for TFIP to offer:

  • Individualized foreclosure counseling for renters, offering information that is building specific, as well as general information about the foreclosure process and referrals to appropriate resources.
  • A toll-free helpline for Chicago (312-784-3507) and Cook County (855-207-8347) to serve renters experiencing housing issues due to foreclosure.
  • Workshops about renters’ rights and the foreclosure process offered to renters, advocates, and community based organizations.
  • Annual Foreclosure Reports: From 2009-2013, LCBH chronicled the foreclosure crisis in Chicago and alerted tenant advocates and legislators to illegal evictions, rampant vacant property accumulation, and the overall loss of affordable housing due to foreclosure through reports released annually.

Annual Foreclosure Reports

Since 2009, the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) has chronicled the foreclosure crisis in Chicago and alerted tenant advocates and legislators to illegal evictions, rampant vacant property accumulation, and the overall loss of affordable housing due to foreclosure through the agency’s annual reports.

The 2012 report examines the impact of foreclosure on the Chicago rental market and renter households using LCBH’s most recent data and the results of renter surveys, and makes recommendations for renter advocacy in light of the new protections in Chicago. Conclusions drawn in this report are informed by data analysis, recent research, and direct testimonials from Chicago renters impacted by foreclosure.

Throughout the past three years Apartment Building foreclosure filing rates remain persistently high. LCBH found that from 2009 to 2011, more than 50,000 rental units went into foreclosure in Chicago, which comprises nine percent of Chicago’s entire rental housing stock. LCBH also found that more units in Apartment Buildings are impacted by foreclosure filings than were single-family and condominium units in Chicago, indicating that a greater number of renter households are likely affected than owner households.

LCBH’s Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project released its 2010 Report entitled "Banks Avoid Foreclosure Laws, Uproot Renters: A Call for Enforcement of Tenant Protections." This is the second annual report of the project and outlines the Community Areas at risk of destabilization due to the number and percentage of rental units either in foreclosure, or bank- or investor-owned. The report also examines the widespread violations of tenants’ rights that have come to LCBH’s attention through direct work with Chicago tenants.

The foreclosure crisis has received close attention; however, there is insufficient examination of how this crisis has negatively affected tenants who rent units from landlords facing foreclosure. Particularly in urban areas with large rental populations, the impact of foreclosure on tenants has the potential to destabilize entire communities. Tenants are the invisible victims of foreclosure—they are often uninformed of their buildings’ foreclosures, frequently face severe violations of their rights, and consequently lose their housing stability.