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Moran Center's new ERASE project helps Evanston renters seal evictions, improve credit scores.

Sealing clinic open to Evanston residents on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Did you know that there's a new Illinois State law that allows residents to remove prior evictions from your record? And Evanston's James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy has announced a new project -- ERASE, Enhance Record and Seal Evictions -- to help you through the process. Residents of Evanston and surrounding areas who wish to take advantage of the ERASE project, can do so every Tuesday in October from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Moran Center offices, 1900 A. Dempster Street, where you'll meet with a School-Based Civil Legal Clinic (SBCLC) volunteer attorney. If you aren't available during Sealing Clinic drop-in hours, you can make an in-person or virtual appointment by emailing or calling (224) 714-0348. Please note that this is not for tenants with a current eviction. As many renters are aware, having an eviction on your record--even when there has been no Court judgment against you--can make it more difficult to rent again. It lowers your credit rating and paints an unfair picture of your ability to pay rent.

A new Illinois Law, 735 ILCS 5/9-121.5, which became effective in May of this year, makes it easier to seal a prior eviction record. While it doesn't prohibit landlords from obtaining a reference from a previous landlord, having an eviction sealed can improve a credit score and make it easier to apply for a new rental agreement. ERASE Project attorneys at the Moran Center will prepare the necessary paperwork for free on behalf of residents who wish to take advantage of this law. The Moran Center has also partnered with Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, and will refer appropriate renters who live outside Evanston to the organization. "This is a unique opportunity for Evanston residents to have their eviction history cleared," says Moran Center executive director Patrick Keenan-Devlin. "We're eager to spread the word and support community members to actualize the transformational relief afforded by this new law.” The ERASE Project is one of many Moran Center programs that helps dismantle systemic barriers to the health, safety, and well-being of young people and their families. It's of the only legal clinics in the country to combine legal and social services, and provides community-based legal, social work, and restorative services for youth and families. If you'd like to support the Moran Center's work, you can participate in the $40 for 40 fundraising campaign this month. The campaign marks the Moran Center's 40th year helping young people in their pursuit of justice in the courtroom, access to the classroom, and restoration in the community. Donate here. Find out more about the Moran Center.

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