In the face of high rent increases and substandard housing, many tenants are realizing they are not alone in their landlord troubles and are joining together to push for building-level wins, and policy change.
In a court division where a family can lose their home after a two-minute trial and only 12 percent of tenants have lawyers, Cook County's lack of eviction court transcripts—with no court reporters or digital recording equipment since 2004—has serious repercussions for tenants.
In Pittsburgh, hundreds of Penn Plaza residents were given 90-day eviction notices after their building was slated for demolition. The mass eviction was well known throughout Pittsburgh, but few knew what was happening inside the building.
When I picked up Peter Shapiro’s book The Good Landlord: A Guide to Making a Profit While Making a Difference, my first thought was, “What happens when you can’t do both, or have to choose one over the other?”