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Need Rent Help? The City And State Will Reopen Their Rent Assistance Programs Monday

Chicago renters and housing providers can apply for money to pay back rent through the city’s Department of Housing or the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Two-flats sit along Oakley Avenue in North Center.
Kelly Bauer/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — City and state grant programs to help people behind on rent will start accepting applications Monday.

The city’s Department of Housing is accepting applications from Chicago tenants and landlords 10 a.m. Monday through Dec. 18. The statewide program, administered through the Illinois Housing Development Authority, will accept applications Monday through Jan. 9.

Renters and housing providers can apply to both programs, but they will only receive assistance from one source for the same period.

The city program will provide a one-time grant, up to $2,500 a month, matched to applicants’ specific need for up to 15 months of past-due rent and utility payments. The grant also could include up to three months of future payments, according to the Department of Housing. 

Tenants who have a household income under 80 percent of the area median income and have faced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 — such as loss of a job or taking time off to care for a loved one — are eligible to apply.

Applicants will not be asked for social security numbers or any other legal residency documentation, and the program is open to all Chicago residents regardless of arrest or conviction history.

Tenants with verbal or month-to-month lease agreements are eligible to apply, but they are required to show proof of a consistent payment history for housing, according to the city.

Credit: Provided/Chicago Department of Housing

A link to an online application will be posted on Monday morning. A phone number and a list of locations around the city where renters can get help with their applications will also be posted Monday, according to the department’s spokesperson.

The department is still processing applications from its first round of rental assistance. Those who are still waiting on a decision may need to resubmit their applications this round to update their paperwork, the spokesperson said. More details will be available Monday.

First-round applicants can check on the status of their applications here

More than $100 million in funds are available this round, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Housing. As of Nov. 21, the city has provided more than $110 million in direct financial assistance to impacted Chicagoans through past rental assistance programs, according to a news release. 

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Homes and the Kennedy Expressway in the Bucktown neighborhood on Nov. 16, 2021.

Renters and housing providers in Illinois are also eligible for up to $25,000 of direct funding through the Illinois Rental Payment Program. 

The grant can cover past-due rent from the previous 15 months and future rent for the next three months, according to a spokesperson from the statewide housing authority. 

Apply online at or through a service provider that can provide application help. A list of service providers throughout the city and their contact info is available here.

For other questions about the program, applicants can call 866-454-3571.

A government-issued photo ID, utility bill or proof of address and valid email address are among the application requirements. A social security number or proof of immigration status are not required. More details about eligibility and application requirements are available on the Illinois Housing Development Authority website.

People with Section 8 vouchers are eligible to apply for the statewide funds, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

This is the second round of rental assistance provided through the state program, and it’s expected to provide close to $300 million to households across the state, according to a spokesperson.

The program was supposed to open on Nov. 8, but it was delayed a month due to issues with its application platform.

Illinoisans who applied for the first round of rental assistance that ran May-July can apply for funds as long as they are not for the same months, the spokesperson said.

If you or someone you know in Chicago is concerned about an eviction filing, visit or call 312-347-7600 for free legal aid. 

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