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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gov. Pritzker announces next round of rental assistance as eviction moratorium ends
--From a press release
2021-07-14

This article shared 421 times since Wed Jul 14, 2021
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CHICAGO — As the state's gradual phaseout of the pandemic eviction moratorium continues, Governor JB today encouraged renters and landlords to apply for $500 million in existing aid and announced that an additional round of assistance will open this fall.

For Illinois renters still struggling to pay their rent, the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) is currently open and accepting applications for the current round of assistance until 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, July 18. Applications can be completed at: ILRPP.IHDA.org .

"Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois implemented one of the largest emergency housing assistance programs in the nation — and as a result, tens of thousands of Illinois families have been able to access housing assistance so far," said Governor JB Pritzker. "These resources have made a life-changing difference for these families, as the eviction moratorium comes to a close, we want to make sure that every eligible Illinoisan applies for this help. This year, Illinois quadrupled the relief that was available last year and were there for our residents when it mattered most. I'm pleased that we'll be offering additional rounds of this critical funding to keep people in their homes."

Governor Pritzker announced earlier this summer that the eviction moratorium would be lifted in August, with a gradual phaseout throughout the summer.

On July 23, the Governor will issue an Executive Order that allows eviction filings against covered persons to begin on August 1. The current prohibition on enforcement of eviction orders entered against covered persons will remain in place until August 31. Enforcement of eviction orders entered against covered persons will be allowed after August 31.

The Governor's Office has been in close communication with members of the Illinois Supreme Court's COVID-19 Task Force to ensure an orderly phase out of the eviction moratorium. 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.

"Households who are behind on their rent or at risk of eviction shouldn't wait to get help," Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director Kristin Faust said. "IHDA staff is working to award these funds as quickly as possible to households in need. Funding is still available, and if you are struggling to make your rent, I urge you to apply for your share of support before the program closes on July 18."

"Housing providers all over the State of Illinois are doing an amazing job throughout this pandemic of keeping people housed, often at great sacrifice to themselves and their own families," said Michael Glasser, President of the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance. "Renters who are behind in their rent should work with their housing providers and apply for help through the State's emergency rental assistance program."

"The eviction moratorium has prevented renters in Illinois from facing homelessness so far during the pandemic and helped prevent the further spread of COVID-19," said Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. "It is critical to ensure all tenants facing eviction have access to rental assistance to prevent evictions from taking place in the future."

The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) also has programs available with no deadline for rental assistance and eviction mediation. Illinois residents can visit www.illinoisrentalassistance.org to see all assistance programs available. The IDHA also plans to reopen the ILRPP in the fall with additional federal funds to further assist tenants facing eviction as a result of the pandemic.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker announced a statewide eviction moratorium for tenants while launching emergency assistance programs that included extensive relief for renters and landlords. These efforts helped avoid a wave of evictions that would have overwhelmed shelters and created a threat to public safety.

To date, IHDA has received nearly 81,000 completed ILRPP applications from renters and landlords in 100 of Illinois' 102 counties requesting over $774 million in rental assistance. IHDA has approved 15,700 applications and paid out $129 million to 14,150 households affected by the pandemic. Approximately 72% of the approved applications to date have assisted households who have been unemployed for more than 90 days, and 67% of approvals have assisted extremely-low-income households to keep vulnerable tenants in their homes while they regain financial solvency. The program has provided an average of $9,121 per household, covering up to 12 months of back due rent and up to three months of future rent. IHDA is continuing to review applications as quickly as possible and is prioritizing requests from tenants who are unemployed and those with very-low household incomes.

DHS has awarded over $187 million in assistance to Illinois residents. Assistance has ranged from direct aid for immigrant communities, legal and court-based assistance and funding for service providers and non-profits.

In 2020, Governor Pritzker utilized funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to create one of the largest emergency rental assistance programs in the nation to support Illinois tenants unable to pay their rent. Eligible tenants whose applications were approved received a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlord to cover missed rent payments beginning March 2020, as well as prepay on payments through December 2020. IHDA received over 79,000 applications for the program and assisted over 46,000 households with $230 million in rental payments.

In May 2021, Governor Pritzker announced an additional $1.5 billion in housing assistance would be made available to support Illinois households. This included ILRPP, an emergency rental assistance program providing up to $25,000 to support Illinois households unable to pay rent due a financial loss incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This round of ILRPP assistance will deliver over $500 million in assistance and is expected to assist 63,000 households.

ILRPP is funded through an appropriation in the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (P.L. 116-260), which passed in December 2020. This legislation included $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, with $25 billion allocated for state and local government rental assistance programs. The Illinois General Assembly provided additional guidance for how this funding can best reach those most in need and increased protections for those facing eviction through the passage of the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act (P.A. 102-0005).

Additional rounds of rental assistance, as well as the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund that will provide mortgage assistance, will be announced in the coming months. For updates to these programs, please visit: www.ihda.org .


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