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Ongoing research has revealed a potentially massive COVID-19 impact on the two- to four-unit properties that house more than a third of Chicago’s renters and likely represents a broader potential crisis throughout Illinois and in major cities across the United States.

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Like the pandemic itself, this impact disproportionally threatens Latinx and Black renters and owner-occupants in the buildings. Communities of color have borne the brunt of the widespread suffering caused by the pandemic in almost every way: they have experienced a higher incidence of the disease; higher mortality rates; greater loss of income; and a higher unemployment rate than Whites.

The loss of income has left millions of renter households unable to pay their rent, with the threat of eviction falling most heavily on lower-income households because they have fewer resources than more affluent households to tide them over until they can recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

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