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Rent, Mortgage Help Now Available For Illinois Residents Who Lost Money From Coronavirus

Each program will provide $150 million to homeowners and renters across Illinois.

Governor J.B. Pritzker answers questions at a press conference on the updates about COVID-19 in Illinois on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Chicago.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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DOWNTOWN — The state has created two programs to help homeowners and renters get $300 million in housing relief.

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority announced the Emergency Rent Assistance and Emergency Mortgage Assistance programs Monday.

The programs, each with $150 million in funding, will help people who lost income due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a press release from Pritzker’s office.

Renters can get a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlord to cover missed rent since March and pre-pay through December, or until the money is exhausted, according to the Governor’s Office. The fund is expected to help about 30,000 households.

To qualify from the Emergency Rent Assistance program, applicants must have had a household income at or below 80 percent of their area’s median income before March 1, a loss of income during the pandemic and unpaid rent starting in March.

Those who rent and need help can apply online through Aug. 28.

After tenants apply for the program, landlords will be asked to provide financial information and proof of the unpaid lease, according to Illinois Legal Aid Online.

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance program will also give up to $15,000 to about 10,000 households with mortgage payments that are past due or in forbearance.

The aid, sent directly to mortgage servicers, will be available to households who reported adjusted incomes at or below 120 percent of the area’s median income on their 2019 tax returns and with an adult member who lost their income during the pandemic. Applicants must have current mortgages as of Feb. 29.

Applications for mortgage assistance will be accepted Aug. 24-Sept. 4. Those in need can apply online.

The Housing Development Authority will use a third party to select the applicants who will receive assistance, according to the Governor’s Office.

The assistance programs come as the state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire Aug. 22.

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