(CBS) — Some tenants of a Humboldt Park apartment building facing mass evictions are attempting to shame the building’s owner into sweetening the pot for relocation.
Manuel Rivera has been a tenant of the building at 1627 Humboldt Park Boulevard for eight years.
He’s on disability and says the $500 a month he’s been paying in rent is about all he can afford.
“They gave us a 30-day notice and tell us, ‘You got to go.’ How cruel is that? They’re heartless, you know,” Rivera says.
Angelica Ugarte, of the Metropolitan Tenant’s Organization, concedes that the owner has every right to rehab the building and raise the rents. But she says about 20 are going to be homeless as a result.
“We are appealing to their morality. I mean, you are an outside developer. The very least you can do is try to help these people to move out. And (when) you don’t have the money its super hard to go anywhere else,” Ugarte says.
She says they’re all for gentrification. But not when it means long-time residents are forced into homelessness or out of their neighborhood.
Hanover Hamilton Investments LLC, the building owner, says it has offered relocation assistance, but the tenants say $1,000 in a neighborhood where the median rent is $1,500 is not enough.