Emergency rental assistance available for Illinoisans

ILLINOIS — Illinois renters struggling to make rent payments because of the pandemic have a new option.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority created the $150 million Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help thousands of renters.

Tenants whose applications are approved will receive one-time grants of $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments. Funding for the program was made possible through the Cares Act.

IHDA Executive Director Kristen Faust said these dollars come at a critical moment in the midst of the pandemic.

“We know from the previous housing crisis that keeping people in their homes is essential to our economic recovery,” she said.

Households that have lost income due to COVID-19, have an unpaid rent balance on or after March 1, and the household income prior to March 1 was within the allowable limits are eligible for assistance.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said 1 in 3 Illinois renters are worried that they won’t be able to make their August rent payment.

“That’s 1 in 3 of our neighbors who are struggling to maintain one of our most essential human needs,” he said. “An unacceptable reality for far too many.”

Applications are open now through Aug. 21, though the window may close early due to anticipated high volume, the governor’s office said.

The IHDA will use a third-party entity to select applications to be reviewed for eligibility, with about 30,000 tenants expected to receive funding.

For information, visit era.ihda.org.

The Center Square – Kevin Bessler

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