Illinois needs your help to protect access to water, electricity & gas during this pandemic!
Earlier, this summer, No Ameren Shutoffs conducted a call-in campaign to the Illinois Commerce Commission demanding no utility shutoffs for working people during the COVID-19 crisis. This campaign was victorious, and resulted in an extension of the shutoff moratorium from August until September 1st!
But now, the moratorium is set to expire in a week. Renters are in more danger than ever. Peoples’ ability to pay housing costs has steadily declined month-to-month since the pandemic began. The latest projections estimate between 30 and 40 million households could face eviction this fall – and this is an underestimate. The majority of evictions are informal, illegal evictions where landlords use tactics like threats, harassment, and commonly utility shutoffs to force out anyone who falls behind on their rent.
Water utilities like Illinois American Water and Decatur’s Water Department have stated their internet to resume shutoffs come September. This is exactly the opposite of what we need during a pandemic when hand-washing is a dire public health necessity. Meanwhile, utility giant Ameren Corp rakes in over $6 billion in revenue per year, and could more than afford to give relief to renters struggling to stay housed.
If we don’t push to extend the shutoff ban, Illinois could follow the “leadership” of Indiana & Missouri in allowing people to be forced out of their homes by cutting off crucial services. Thousands could be pushed out of their housing, without their removals being formally recorded as evictions. We need to mobilize to protect renters!
Here’s what you can do:
Call the Illinois Commerce Commission and demand an extension of the shutoff ban! They can be reached at 1-800-524-0795 between 8am and 5pm. Without pressure from below, our government will put the profits of the utility companies before public health. Help us step up the fight to keep renters in their homes!