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.


Governor Pritzker Eviction Moratorium Information

UPDATE: The Tenant Declaration Form is now available here.

  • The Tenant Declaration form in Arabic is here.
  • The Tenant Declaration form in Chinese is here.
  • The Tenant Declaration form in Hindi is here.
  • The Tenant Declaration form in Polish is here.
  • The Tenant Declaration form in Spanish is here.
  • The Tenant Declaration form in Tagalog is here.

In addition to providing your landlord with a signed declaration, you should retain a copy of the signed declaration(s) for your records. If you need legal assistance, you may wish to reach out to legal resource agencies listed here (en español).


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.
  • IHDA organized a group of housing counseling agencies, community-based organizations and non-profit organizations (including legal assistance groups) to assist IHDA in operating the ERA and EMA programs. These Community Outreach and Assistance (COA) partners are able to provide information and outreach and help direct and assist residents whose income has been impacted by COVID 19 by identifying other available resources. Please find a directory of COA partners here.

Governor Pritzker Rental and Mortgage Relief Program Updates

Nearly 100,000 Illinois residents applied for housing assistance through either the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) or Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) programs. The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) continues to notify applicants via email regarding the status of their application, and appreciate your patience during these difficult times.

By the end of December 2020, IHDA will have disbursed more than $300 million in emergency housing assistance to renters and homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about these programs, click here (en español) for a list of ERA FAQs or here (en español) for a list of EMA FAQs or email us at communications@ihda.org.


Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Updates Regarding Fraud

ALERT: What should I do if I have reason to believe that someone is providing fraudulent information in an attempt to obtain ERA or EMA funds?

IHDA takes all allegations of fraud seriously.  If you have reason to believe someone is  providing fraudulent information in an attempt to obtain ERA or EMA funds please promptly send an e-mail to either ERAFraudAllegation@ihda.org (for rental) or EMAFraudAllegation@ihda.org (for mortgage), with as much detail as possible so that IHDA can promptly investigate the matter.  Alternatively, you could file a complaint online with the Office of the Executive Inspector General at:

https://www2.illinois.gov/oeig/complaints/Pages/OnlineComplaint.aspx.

 

ALERT:  Please be aware that the Illinois Housing Development Authority is currently initiating calls to a limited number of applicants for the Emergency Rental Assistance and Emergency Mortgage Assistance programs.

  • The nature of the Emergency Rental Assistance call is to inform renters their application is missing a piece of information. Written instructions that contain the proper e-mail to send your information will also be provided.
  • The nature of Emergency Mortgage Assistance calls is to let applicants know email is coming that will request a mortgage statement and W9 completed by their servicer.

Please note that during these calls, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will not be asking for any personal information or directing you to send the caller an e-mail. If the caller asks for personal information, indicates that you need to pay a fee, provides you with a suspicious e-mail or U.S. Mail address, please err on the side of caution, hang up and contact our call center at (312) 883-2720 or toll free at (888) 252-1119.


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 Executive Order 2020-72, as amended by Executive Order 2020-74 and 2021-01, landlords are prohibited from initiating eviction actions against covered persons unless they pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property. A “covered person” is defined as a tenant who provides their landlord with a certification under penalty of perjury stating that:

  1. They expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or $198,000 if filing jointly);
  2. They are unable to make a full rent or housing payment due to a COVID-19 related hardship including, but not limited to, substantial loss of income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  3. They are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses; and
  4. Eviction would likely render them homeless—or force them to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because they have no other available housing options.

In addition to largely prohibiting the filing of eviction actions against covered persons, the Executive Order also prohibits the enforcement of eviction orders against all individuals unless they have been found to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property. The Executive Order does not relieve any individual of the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation that they may have pursuant to a lease or rental agreement. This moratorium is in effect until February 6, 2021 (subject to further extension or amendment by the Governor).

 

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, 2020 and will last until January 31, 2021 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.


OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS
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 October 1st. Please click here to check your eligibility.
    • COVID Housing and Utility Assistance program – launching on October 15th. 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.

 

DuPage County CRIS Coronavirus Relief Funds

  • Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) are now available to assist residents of DuPage County avoid eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness. Services offered may include rent or security deposit assistance as well as help with property assessments and foreclosure prevention through mortgage assistance.
  • To be eligible for these funds, households must meet income guidelines and demonstrate that they experienced a housing crisis because of COVID-19.
  • Requests for assistance are now being accepted online in either English or in Español starting on Wednesday, 11/18/20. Requests will be accepted through Wednesday, 11/25/20 or until the maximum capacity for requests has been reached. Households will need to complete a full application through a network of a service providers to be considered for assistance.

 

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.

 

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, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, and Utility Services of Illinois. Please read more in the update from the Citizens Utility Board here.
  • 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 February 28, 2021. 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 February 28, 2021.
    • 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.

 

DuPage County CRIS Coronavirus Relief Funds

  • Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) are now available to assist residents of DuPage County avoid eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness. Services offered may include rent or security deposit assistance as well as help with property assessments and foreclosure prevention through mortgage assistance.
  • To be eligible for these funds, households must meet income guidelines and demonstrate that they experienced a housing crisis because of COVID-19.
  • Requests for assistance are now being accepted online in either English or in Español starting on Wednesday, 11/18/20. Requests will be accepted through Wednesday, 11/25/20 or until the maximum capacity for requests has been reached. Households will need to complete a full application through a network of a service providers to be considered for assistance.

 

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.