Illinois’ ban on evictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will end Aug. 31, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.
Pritzker’s announcement means the state’s ban on most evictions will have lasted more than 17 months after beginning in March 2020 when the governor ordered Illinois residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Illinois residents who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the pandemic can apply for up to $25,000 to cover missed rental payments through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Applications and eligibility standards are available online at illinoisrentalassistance.org.
The nationwide eviction moratorium ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will end July 31, and federal officials have said it will not be extended.
Pritzker plans to issue an executive order July 23 that will allow landlords to ask a court to evict tenants who earn less than $99,000 annually — or $198,000 if a couple files jointly — and had been unable to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic starting on Aug. 1.
Eviction orders will be allowed to be enforced after Aug. 31, Pritzker said.
“Through a coordinated approach, we hope to relieve the potential pressure on the court system while also ensuring that tenants and landlords have every opportunity to benefit from the state’s rental assistance programs,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Approximately 81,000 Illinois renters and landlords applied for $774 million in the latest round of rental assistance, which launched in May, officials said. However, state officials have $500 million in assistance available, which is expected to assist 63,000 households, officials said.
So far, state officials have approved 15,700 applications and paid out $129 million to 14,150 households affected by the pandemic, officials said.
Nearly three-quarters of the applications came from residents who have been unemployed for more than 90 days. They each got an average of $9,100, officials said.
In the first round of rental assistance, state officials got more than 79,000 applications for $5,000 grants and sent $230 million in rental payments to 46,000 households.
A third round of rental assistance grants will open this fall, officials said.
A survey by the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance found that Chicago housing providers have not been paid $1 billion in rent since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
A Chicago law will require landlords seeking to evict tenants who can’t pay rent because of the financial impact of the pandemic to show proof that they tried to work out an agreement during the two months after the state’s ban is lifted, officials said. That could include applying for financial assistance from state and city programs.
Approximately 26,850 Chicagoans applied in May and June for $137 million in grants designed to stave off a wave of evictions and keep the lights on across Chicago, according to city officials.
However, city officials have only $80 million available in this round of assistance. Another $100 million in rental assistance is expected to be available this fall, officials said.
More than 83,000 Chicagoans applied for the first round of rental assistance grants from the city in March 2020. However, since the city had just $2 million available, only 2,000 people won a lottery for the $1,000 grants.
A second round of grants offered up to $3,000 to help residents pay their rent or mortgages.
Approximately 21,000 households in Chicago could be evicted from their rental homes once the ban is lifted, according to a forecast released in December by the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and the Center for Urban Research & Learning at Loyola University.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]
Note: This story was originally published July 14, 2021. It has been updated to include our “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” report.