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Evictions Increasing in Rock Island County

Dennis Carr/FLICKR

Help is available for residents of Rock Island County facing eviction. Even though the state moratorium has ended, the Eviction Diversion Program, organized by several agencies and organizations, can help tenants and their landlords.

Circuit Judge Carol Pentuic says there've been 16 evictions in the county since January 10th, and more are likely.

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Circuit Judge Carol Pentuic

"There are no more safety nets for people. You will go through the mediation and hopefully that will allow people to get the benefits, but if people think there is going to be some magical delay, or additional moratorium, that is not happening."

She estimates each week there are about 40 new eviction cases in Rock Island County, compared to ten before the pandemic. And as many as ten cases per week are dismissed through mediation.

Project Now Executive Director Dwight Ford says planning for the diversion program began more than a year ago. 1.3 million dollars are available to help tenants and landlords.

"The individuals that make up this team bring everything they have, they bring their institutional weight behind them, to try to find a way to mitigate these challenges, to try to bring solutions to the things that are bearing on the shoulders of so many."

Partners in the program include Project Now, the Salvation Army, Prairie States Legal Services, the 14th Judicial Circuit, and the Rock Island County Bar Association.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.