Landlord v. Tenant: GLT Series | WGLT

Landlord v. Tenant: GLT Series

Landlord v. Tenant is a special GLT investigative series exploring low-income rental housing in Bloomington-Normal:

An aging stock of low income housing in Bloomington-Normal is causing ongoing tension between tenants and their landlords. Twin City landlords are cited more than 3,000 times a year for housing code violations. Because of their age, many low income rental units are in chronic disrepair. Compounding the problem is that Bloomington and Normal each have only two housing inspectors to oversee more than twenty thousand rental units. And there is little pressure on landlords to change.

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Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Bloomington Fire Department said Wednesday the blaze that left 29 people in an apartment building homeless last month was caused by an accidental cooking fire.

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The city of Bloomington on Wednesday condemned a townhouse owned by the same landlord whose apartment building at a different location burned earlier this month, and had been cited for more than 200 code violations before the fire.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A Bloomington apartment building that caught fire earlier this month had 226 building code violations, including non-working smoke detectors, Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The president of the Illinois chapter of the NAACP says that more than 50 years after the federal Fair Housing Act was enacted, African-Americans still face housing discrimination, predatory mortgage lending practices, and other obstacles to moving into racially diverse and affluent neighborhoods.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months for Moesha Tyner and her six children.

Judith Valente / WGLT

In September, the GLT investigative series Landlord v. Tenant revealed increasing tensions between landlords and lower income tenants, who are often forced to rent substandard housing.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

McLean County Circuit Court Judge David Butler signs dozens of orders of evictions each year as the judge who hears the bulk of landlord tenant cases for the county. 

He said it is rarely easy.

"When you put a single mother out who has one or six kids, it is always hard. I've had numerous cases where it's hard to enter an order of possession that tells somebody you have seven days to move everything you own out of this apartment or this house without knowing where to put it," Butler said.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The first thing you notice about the rental home at 705 S. Center Street is that the front door doesn’t lock.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

On a sunny afternoon, Bloomington housing inspector Gayle Price walks up a driveway to a wood-framed home on South Western Avenue.

Judith Valente / WGLT

On the morning of July 1, Brad May and his roommate woke to a situation no one relishes: a stopped-up toilet.

Judith Valente / WGLT

On the day Candace Gailes moved into her apartment at 610 South Linden in Normal, she says she sat down on her front step and wept.