(WSIL) -- Governor JB Pritzker Monday announced that applications for the second round of rental assistance funding are now available to help Illinois residents who have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic.
The Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) will deploy multiple rounds of funding totaling $1.1 billion dollars to Illinois renters and landlords in an effort to prevent evictions. An additional $400 million in rental assistance will be provided by larger municipalities.
The state will also be standing up a separate program to support homeowners with $400 million in mortgage assistance.
“It was clear when we implemented last year’s housing relief programs that the need was far greater than the dollars allocated to our state. That’s why I’m pleased to announce today that Illinois is expanding rental relief to $1.5 billion, nearly 4 times the amount that was available last year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The Illinois Rental Payment Program will ensure more than 120,000 household renters see relief, with more renters potentially being touched in the future, too. Any eligible resident who rents their home, is behind on payments, and experienced financial hardship in the pandemic is eligible to apply for up to $25,000 of rental assistance paid directly to their housing provider or landlord.”
Overall, the new rental programs are expected to assist more than 120,000 households. In addition, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is overseeing the Help Illinois Families program and Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program, which has prevented disruption in utility service for thousands of Illinois households using $280 million in federal and state assistance.
Governor Pritzker also signed HB 2877 into law establishing a new structure to efficiently distribute rental assistance to Illinois residents and provide for sealing of eviction records until August 1, 2022.
HB 2877 is effective immediately.
Illinois Rental Payment Program
The Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) will provide direct funding to support Illinois tenants unable to pay their rent due to a COVID-19-related loss of income.
Approved applicants will receive one-time grants of up to $25,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments as far back as June 2020 and prepay payments through August 2021, or until the $25,000 is exhausted, whichever comes first.
Applications for ILRPP will be accepted Monday, May 17 through Monday, June 7. Interested residents can apply online at: ILRPP.IHDA.org.
Tenant eligibility requirements:
- Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic.
- 2020 household income was below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for household size.
- The household lives in Illinois and rents their home as their primary residence.
- Household must have an unpaid rent balance.
- Priority will be given to households earning less than 50% of AMI and to households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days.
In addition to ILRPP, as an extension and expansion of its current efforts, IDHS is assisting with the deployment of housing, utilities, and legal assistance. The department also offers other types of support for those who are at risk of homelessness, providing direct legal representation and mediation, court-based rental assistance support and intensive case management interventions to address other barriers to housing stability that people may face.
Utilities Assistance and Shutoff Avoidance Programs
To date, more than 260,000 households have received $280 million in benefits through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and LIHEAP programs, which includes the Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program (UDAP) funds directly credited to customer accounts in threat of imminent disconnection.
There is $30 million in LIHEAP funding still available for new clients through the end of the current program year which ends May 31, 2021. A new program year will begin September 1, 2021, and residents qualifying for LIHEAP will have access to additional funds provided to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Additionally, the Governor and DCEO created the Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program (UDAP) to provide direct aid to households facing shutoffs due to inability to pay.
Residents who do not qualify for UDAP can still enroll in LIHEAP benefits through the ongoing Help Illinois Families program. More information on how to apply for Help Illinois Families can be found on HelpIllinoisFamilies.com.