CHICAGO – Due to a vendor needing additional time to ensure its application platform is functioning properly, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced today that it will reopen the Illinois Rental Payment Program on Monday, Dec. 6 instead of Monday, Nov. 8. While the date for the program reopening is now delayed, money from this round will still be distributed to approved Illinoisans before the end of the year as originally scheduled.
In the first round of ILRPP launched in May, IHDA reviewed all completed applications, approved more than 57,000 applications and paid out nearly $540 million on behalf of renters experiencing pandemic-related hardships. Since 2020, the state of Illinois has provided over $776 million in emergency rental assistance to help keep more than 103,100 Illinois seniors, families and others safely housed.
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IHDA is continuously learning from previous application rounds and striving to improve the application process to ensure the funds can quickly get to landlords and tenants who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The application portal requires additional testing to ensure it can accommodate the tens of thousands of applicants that may apply for ILRPP assistance. Applications will now be accepted beginning Monday, Dec. 6 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan 9 at illinoishousinghelp.org.
“While this delays the date we’ll begin accepting applications, IHDA is committed to meeting the original timeline of disbursing rental assistance money to tenants and landlords in December,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “We recognize this postponement may cause concern for tenants facing eviction, but there is help for renters available now.”
For renters who are in need of immediate assistance, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is currently accepting applications for rental assistance. Households looking for assistance should contact an IDHS Service Provider Agency to ask about rental assistance. Provider Agencies will help you determine if you are eligible and help you apply for rental assistance. A list of Provider Agencies, as well as organizations helping with utility bills, free legal aid, and additional services can be found at www.illinoisrentalassistance.org/.
Further aiming to reduce evictions in Illinois, a Court-Based Rental Assistance Program administered by IDHS is available to assist tenants outside of Cook County with active cases in eviction court. Tenants may apply for up to 12 months of past due rent and up to three months of future rent payments using their eviction court case number at ilrpp.ihda.org.
The December 2021 reopening of ILRPP will provide more than $250 million to renters and landlords in an effort to prevent evictions and keep families safe and secure while they regain their financial footing. The additional ILRPP funding is expected to assist more than 27,000 Illinois households. IHDA is currently working closely with its hired technology vendor partners to address unexpected issues and ensure the system is stable when the portal opens.
ILRPP provides 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 on their behalf. If the landlord chooses not to participate in the program, tenants may receive payments directly. In this application round, assistance will cover up to 18 months of emergency rental payments, including up to 15 months of missed payments and up to three months of future rent payments. Rent owed from June 2020 through April 2022 may be paid for with ILRPP funds. Priority will be given to households earning less than 50% of AMI and to households with one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days.
Tenant eligibility requirements:
- Household lives in Illinois and rents their home as their primary residence.
- Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic.
- Household income is below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for household size.
- Household must have an unpaid rent balance.
- Proof of citizenship is not required. Rental assistance is not a “public charge” benefit.
- Tenants residing in state- or federally-subsidized housing are eligible to apply.
For additional information and updates, please visit illinoishousinghelp.org.