PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – There’s a call to action in Peoria’s East Bluff, as dozens say they’re on the verge of being evicted without cause and with only a month’s notice.
Rachel Washington of Peoria’s East Bluff is a mother of four. She is one of dozens of tenants who recently received an eviction notice from Texas-based property manager Darwin Homes, saying she must leave her home in the new year.
“I need a little more time to move,” said Washington, “5 days after Christmas, four kids, no money right now and the rent has gone up.”
At Tuesday’s Peoria City Council meeting, Washington, along with other residents and advocates, urged city leaders to help evacuees.
“Give us 30 days, give us 60 days, give us 90 days for God’s sake and help these people who are being displaced by their own fault,” East Bluff resident Lawrence Maushard said.
3rd Ward Councilman Tim Riggenbach told Darwin Homes that issuing the notices to month-to-month renters may not be illegal, it doesn’t fix the situation.
“Just because it’s within their rights doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. That’s the part that burns a lot of us about this,” Riggenbach said.
He said city leaders have begun exploring ways to ease the burden on those affected.
“Our director of community development, Joe Dulin, has already contacted the property owner and requested an extension,” Riggenbach said. “It’s more stressful to throw at people this year.”
Riggenbach added that city leaders are in preliminary discussions to hold meetings with stakeholders, so tenants know what their rights are.
Darwin Homes did not respond to repeated requests for comment.