COVID-19 Housing Resources Information

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Following Governor Pritzker’s request for social distancing to limit the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) office is closed to the public until further notice; however, IHDA remains open for business.

Our team is working hard to make sure IHDA programs and support remain available with zero interruptions in service.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, please call 1-800-889-3931 or view up to date information on how Illinois is handling COVID-19 from the State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site.


How to Contact IHDA

  • Online: visit www.ihda.org for current information and contacts for all active IHDA programs.
  • Email: see our Contact Us page for key department contacts.
  • Phone: for all general inquiries, call 312.836.5200 to be connected with the appropriate department.
    • For Emergency Rental Assistance or Emergency Mortgage Assistance, please call 312.883.2720 or 888.252.1119.
  • See our Staff Directory for a complete list of staff phone numbers by department.

Governor Pritzker Mortgage and Rental Relief Programs

Illinois residents responded in record numbers to the Emergency Rental Assistance and Emergency Mortgage Assistance programs and the application period for each program has closed.  We are expecting to fund about 40% of the rental applications and about 50% of the mortgage applications.

  • For those who applied for Emergency Rental Assistance, application status notifications began September 10th and will continue through October 31st, when full disbursement of funds is expected.   
  • For those who applied for Emergency Mortgage Assistance, notifications are expected to be sent out beginning in September through October. 
  • The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is working as expeditiously as it can to process applications and notify applicants. Staff is unable to provide updates for individual applications, so please refrain from contacting IHDA regarding your application status.

A submission does not guarantee approval of your application.

As always, if you are able to make your rent or mortgage payments, please continue to do so. If you need immediate assistance, please be proactive and speak with your landlord or mortgage servicer about your specific situation.


Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Update

ALERT: If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) or working in conjunction with IHDA to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance program, the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program, or any other program, please hang up and contact our call center at (312) 883-2720 or toll free at (888) 252-1119.

IHDA and/or our Emergency Rental Assistance and Emergency Mortgage Assistance  partners are not initiating contact with applicants by email, phone or text message to request personal or financial information.

To reiterate:

  • Applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance program and the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program is completely FREE, there is no charge.
  • IHDA and our partners will not contact applicants seeking personal information.
  • Do NOT give or send personal information to someone over the phone, or text or email, hang up and contact the IHDA call center if you have any questions.

Rental Assistance

There has been no suspension of rent payments for the City of Chicago or State of Illinois. This means tenants are still obligated to pay their rent per the terms of their lease, if they are able to do so.

 

Illinois Eviction Filing Moratorium

  • Per Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 Executive Order No.55, between March 20, 2020 and October 17, 2020 (subject to further extension by the Governor), all state, county and local enforcement must cease and owners cannot file for eviction, except where a tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and sever risk to property or a violation of a building code, health ordinance or similar regulation. This applies to all property in Illinois.

 

National Eviction Moratorium

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a temporary national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Evicted renters must move, which leads to multiple outcomes that increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. The moratorium takes effect September 4 and will last until December 31, covering tens of millions of renters at risk of eviction nationwide.

An eligible tenant must execute a declaration form under penalty of perjury to the landlord certifying that:

  • The tenant does not expect to earn more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing a joint tax return) in 2020 or has received a CARES Act stimulus check;
  • Has used their best efforts to obtain government assistance for rent or housing;
  • Is unable to pay rent due to a substantial loss in income or because of extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • Is making their best effort to make partial rent payments;
  • Has no other available housing options if evicted; and
  • Understands they may need to pay back rent and fees once the moratorium expires.

If you meet all of these conditions listed above, you must send a signed declaration to your landlord.

The emergency order applies only to those unable to make full rent payment and does not prohibit evictions resulting from issues other than nonpayment of rent. The eviction moratorium does not require landlords to forgive housing payments or preclude the charging or collection of fees, penalties, or interest for failure to make rent and housing payments.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has developed an FAQ for renters interested in participating in the moratorium.

 

Illinois Department of Human Services

  • The Homeless Prevention Program provides rental/mortgage assistance and utility assistance to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. The program is designed to stabilize individuals and families in their existing homes, shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters and assist individuals and families with securing affordable housing.
  • The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program gives immediate and comprehensive shelter services to homeless persons and persons at risk of becoming homeless.
  • The Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC) is a comprehensive service center for the integration of immigrants and refugees in Illinois. IDHS will dedicate $38 million in pandemic-related emergency programs and direct assistance to Illinois immigrants, refugees and limited English Proficient individuals who are facing unemployment, loss of income, medical costs and food and housing insecurity as a direct result of COVID-19.
    • COVID Family Support Project cash assistance – launching online on September 28. Please click here to check your eligibility.
    • COVID Housing and Utility Assistance program – launching on October 12th. Please click here to find an organization that can provide assistance in applying for housing and utility assistance.

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

  • The Pritzker Administration, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has launched a new initiative to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services during COVID-19. Building on the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, the State’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget authorizes an expansion of the LIHEAP and CSBG programs for eligible Illinoisans seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food and other household necessities.
  • The Help Illinois Families initiative has implemented an online form to make it easier and faster for individuals and families to remotely request assistance through the LIHEAP and/or CSBG programs. Funding may be limited in some areas of the state and completion of the form is not a guarantee of funding.

 

Housing Counseling Agencies

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout Illinois that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures and credit issues.
  • Click here to contact a HUD-approved counseling agency.

 

Finding an Apartment

  • ILHousingSearch.org is a fast, easy-to-use FREE search lets people look for rental housing. Provides detailed information and links to housing resources, helpful tools for renters such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist and information about renter rights and responsibilities.
  • The service is also available through a toll-free, bilingual call center at: (877) 428-8844.

 

Rental Housing Support Program

  • Provides rental assistance to extremely low-income households living in participating properties.
  • Contact one of the administering agencies directly to apply.
  • The City of Chicago administers its own version of the Rental Housing Support Program.

 

Utilities Moratorium

  • At the request of the Illinois Commerce Commission, the following utilities have committed to extending the moratorium on utility disconnections for low-income (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program qualified) residential customers and those financially impacted by COVID-19 until March 31, 2021: Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois, Illinois American Water, Commonwealth Edison, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, and Utility Services of Illinois.
  • MidAmerican will voluntarily extend the moratorium on disconnections for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program qualified residential customers through March 31, 2021 and is further considering additional options to help their customers during this unprecedented time.
  • Additionally, Nicor Gas and Liberty Utilities have agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for all residential customers until March 31, 2021.

 

Homeownership Assistance

If you can pay your mortgage, pay your mortgage on time.

If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, or believe you may fall behind soon, contact your loan servicer now.

 

Current Homeowners

Single-Family Mortgage Forbearance

  • Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and guidance from federal agencies and the GSEs, there are two protections for homeowners with federally or GSE-backed (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) funded mortgages:
    • First, for many federally or GSE-backed loans, your lender or loan servicer may not foreclose on you until at least December 31, 2020. Specifically, the CARES Act and the guidance from the GSEs, the FHA, the VA, and the USDA, prohibit lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale. This protection began on March 18, 2020, and extends through at least December 31, 2020.
    • Second, if you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you have a right to request and obtain a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request and obtain an extension for up to another 180 days (for a total of up to 360 days). You must contact your loan servicer to request this forbearance. There will be no additional fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account. You do not need to submit additional documentation to qualify other than your claim to have a pandemic-related financial hardship.
  • Click here to find information to determine if you have a federal or GSE-backed mortgage

 

What is a forbearance?

  • Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time. Forbearance doesn’t erase what you owe, you are still required to repay any missed/reduced payments in the future. If your income is restored, reach out to your servicer and resume making payments as soon as you can. The CARES Act does not specify how each lender chooses to incorporate their forbearance policy, so struggling homeowners should reach out to their lender.

 

Credit Scores

  • If you are approved for a forbearance, a payment delay or other payment arrangement with your creditor or servicer (and you are current on your accounts) then the creditor or servicer will continue to report you to the credit rating agencies as current. Your credit report/score will not be negatively impacted by these non- or delayed payments during the covered period of the arrangement.

 

Finding a Housing Counselor

  • Housing counselors can help you understand your options if you are having trouble paying your mortgage. They can communicate with your mortgage lender or servicer on your behalf and help you find legal representation if necessary. Counselors can also help you create a budget to manage your expenses and possibly stay in your home.
  • All services are free.
  • Find a counselor near you today and begin to get the help you need.

 

Potential Homebuyers

  • IHDA administers homebuying programs that provide as much as $10,000 in down payment assistance for potential homeowners across Illinois.
  • Click here to find a participating lender to discuss your options.

 

Realtors & Partners

  • Expect no service disruptions.
  • All our programs are fully funded and available.
  • All reviews are still being conducted in a timely manner.
  • Please contact us with any questions. We’re here to help any way can.

Additional State of Illinois Resources

State of Illinois (COVID-19) Response

  • Stay up-to-date on all things Illinois COVID-19. Protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of Illinoisans is Governor Pritzker’s top priority. The administration continues to work closely with local health departments, county officials and federal partners to put systems in place to respond to COVID-19. This website will provide the latest news releases related to coronavirus, resources, FAQs, video archives of press conferences and tips from leading experts to keep you and your family safe.

 

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

  • The mission of IDPH is to protect the health and wellness of the people of Illinois through the prevention, health promotion, regulation and the control of disease and injury. Please click here for the latest updates from IDPH.

 

Illinois COVID-19 Donations

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security

  • For all COVID-19 unemployment benefits information, please visit the IDES site.

 

Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR)

  • IDOR has established a web page to provide information and resources to help Illinois taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.