Renter Stories

It is easy to take for granted the powerful role that home plays in our daily lives. Housing stability is connected to better health, better education, and social and mental wellness that nurture success and a sense of well‑being. Right now, right here in Chicago, thousands of families are struggling with housing issues. We invite you to read some of our renters’ stories that show how LCBH and your support have benefited their lives and our communities. We know you appreciate how important having a safe and stable home is to thriving in our lives and in our communities.

Stronger Together: A Logan Square Tenants Union

Lately, LCBH’s Affordable Housing Preservation Program (AHPP) attorneys have been working with many renters confronted with displacement and eviction because of redevelopment. In the Logan Square neighborhood stands an extraordinary apartment building. It was quaint, diverse, and had rents of only $600 - $700 a month. It had one vintage elevator with an iron gate to close. The building was close to public transportation and lots of shops, and was in a safe and quiet area. The renters living there loved most everything about it.

The Reeds:  Unsealed Case Aggravates Troubles

The Reed Family had been peacefully living in the Chatham neighborhood since 2010 in a home they rented. Their lives were turned upside down late last year after their landlord lost the building to foreclosure and the foreclosing bank evicted them from their home.

Claudine and Family

Claudine is a single, working mom who is raising her young daughter and teenage son in the West Rogers Park apartment that she has called home since 2007. Claudine has always been a good tenant; she pays her rent on time and takes care of her home. Unfortunately, she is one of the thousands of tenants in Chicago who, each year, find themselves living at the mercy of dangerously irresponsible landlords.

Gilberto and Margarita

Gilberto and Margarita, a married couple with five minor children, had moved four times in six years and were seeing the adverse effects of moving to new neighborhoods, with new friends, and new schools. So when it came time to move again they walked around Pilsen to find a suitable place where the landlord might be amenable to a long-term lease.

In June of 2009, they found a two-flat with a “For Rent” sign. They called the landlord who, much to their relief, was willing to give them a five year lease. As their primary language is Spanish, staying in Pilsen was important.


Rental leases can take many forms, from a contract spanning hundreds of pages to a simple text message conversation. LCBH has encountered any number of ways a landlord and a tenant have chosen to do business. One recent example involved Charles, who resided in a single-unit home that was owned by his uncle James. In 2012, James invited his nephew Charles to live with him and assist with renovating the home.