Illinois residents struggling to pay their rent because of a lost job or reduced income due to COVID-19 will have more time to apply for state assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance program.
“With over 750,000 Illinoisans losing power as a result of the strong derecho that swept across northern Illinois a week ago, it’s important we provide additional time to file and complete application for assistance,” said Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristin Faust in a statement. “I am pleased to extend the deadline as there were many renters and landlords without power for nearly a week, which negatively impacted their ability to apply to the Emergency Rental Assistance program.”
Renters now have until noon on Aug. 28 to apply, while landlords will have until Aug. 30 to complete their portion of the application, according to officials.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority has set aside $150 million in federal funds to help approximately 30,000 residents pay their rent due to a pandemic-related loss of income. To be eligible for the grant, renters must have fallen behind on rent on or after March 1 and have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. Interested renters can also check their eligibility online.
The one-time $5,000 grants will be paid directly to a renter’s landlord to pay back missed rent and cover rental payments through December.
Renters affected by the storms or those who need help navigating the application process can contact one of 62 outreach organizations that have partnered with IHDA, or call IHDA’s contact center at 312-883-2720 or 888-252-1119.
In addition to $150 million for renters, the state is using $150 million in federal funds to provide assistance to homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments due to coronavirus-related income loss. The application period for the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program is set to open Aug. 24.
Officials say the application process for homeowners will not be affected or delayed because of the extension for renters.
To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must have an adjusted gross income at or below 120% of the area median income, have sustained a pandemic-related loss of income on or after March 1, and have a mortgage that is past due or in forbearance.
IHDA anticipates helping 10,000 homeowners through the program by paying $15,000 directly to homeowners’ mortgage servicers. Assistance can cover a balance that is past due or in forbearance, as well regular mortgage payments through Dec. 30, according to IHDA.