EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County’s emergency rental assistance program exceeded $4.5 million in payments to residents affected by COVID-19.

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"The pandemic created a housing crisis for thousands of Madison County families and landlords and this program helped eligible households with rent and rent arrearage,” Madison County Community Development Chief Deputy Administrator Chris Otto said.

Since March, Madison County Community Development (MCCD) disbursed the funding through the American Rescue Plan Act’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds for low- and moderate-income households.

The funds helped to pay rents that were past due during COVID-19 when there was a moratorium on rents. The money was also available to pay utilities such as electric, gas, sewer, trash and water as well as preventing disconnections or resuming service.

The ERAP program has been successful due to higher income thresholds than other MCCD assistance programs. Current income guidelines allows single member households with up to $47,550 annual income to apply with a progressive scale up to $89,650 income for a household of eight.

“Community Development anticipates servicing rental requests through Dec. 31 and paying rental requests through February 2022 as funds allow,” Otto said.

Requests for rent and/or utility assistance may be applied for at the Madison County website at www.co.madison.il.us. Click Departments – Community Development — Rent & Mortgage Assistance—Emergency Rental Assistance — Tenant or Landlord Application.

The following Township offices offer applications:

Chouteau — (618) 931-0360

Collinsville — (618) 344-1290

Godfrey — (618) 466-3381

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Jarvis — (618) 667-2560

Nameoki — (618) 931-1230

Venice — (618) 452-1121

The following Libraries will offer applications:

The Hayner Public Library District in Alton — (618) 462-0677

Wood River — (618) 254-4832

The Madison County Urban League in Alton will also provide applications — (618) 463- 1906

To apply for rental assistance, you may complete an application for up to 12 months towards past-due rent. Up to three months of future rent may be requested on a separate form.

Applicants are eligible for up to 15 months of total rental assistance after which no further rental applications will be considered.

To apply for utility assistance, you may complete an application towards up to 15 months of past-due bills. Note that all rental and utility applications must be completed in full to be considered.

“Rental assistance has been the most requested form of assistance coming through the Madison County referral line,” Otto said.

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