Joint Statement from Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Department of Housing and Cook County on Available Emergency Rental Assistance

June 1, 2021

In an effort to ensure households facing eviction due to COVID-19 receive financial relief to stay safe and secure, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the City of Chicago released the following statement:

“As renters and landlords continue to face financial hardships, fair and equitable access to rental assistance is crucial to keeping families healthy and housed as bills continue to accrue each month,” IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said. “We are committed to distributing these rental assistance funds as quickly as possible to all 102 counties throughout the state to provide relief where it is needed most. If you have fallen behind on rent as a result of this terrible pandemic, I encourage you contact your landlord and apply for help today.”

“Since the City of Chicago held its first two rounds of rental assistance in 2020, we’ve seen the need only grow as the pandemic has continued. We are thrilled to be providing this muchneeded assistance to renters vulnerable to eviction, and to landlords vulnerable to foreclosure,” said Marisa Novara, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Housing. “Between our online portal and the many community -based organizations with deep-ties in neighborhoods with whom we are partnering, it is our goal to ensure as many households remain stably housed as possible.”

“Although Cook County’s Emergency Rental Assistance program has closed, we have paid out 31% of our applicants who qualify for funding, recognizing waiting for relief is amplifying anxiety in both landlords and renters, we are encouraging people to take advantage of the free resources offered through the Cook County to seek out supports through the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt program,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “In partnering with the State and City to coordinate relief efforts it is our hope that these resources can help to level the legal playing field during these troubled economic times.”

Illinois Rental Payment Program

The Illinois Housing Development Authority launched the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) to provide eligible renters up to $25,000 paid directly to their housing provider. Assistance will be matched to the tenant’s specific need and will cover up to 15 month of emergency rental assistance, including up to 12 months of missed rent payment and three months of future rent payments. The coverage period is June 2020 through August 2021. The Illinois Housing Development Authority is expected to assist over 63,000 renters and housing providers. Housing providers and tenants can submit a joint application at Housing providers/landlords may initiate a joint application starting Monday, May 17 through Monday, June 7. Tenants will have until Monday, June 14 to complete their portion of a landlord-initiated application. An additional round for tenants to initiate the application process will follow.

Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Chicago Department of Housing launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) on Monday, May 24. The City’s ERAP programs offers up to 15 months of rental payments and eligible tenants can also receive assistance for utility payments. ERAP represents the Chicago Department of Housing’s third round of rental assistance since the onset of the pandemic. In March 2020, DOH opened its first rental assistance program funded with $2 million from its Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund providing 2,000 one-time grants in the amount of $1,000 to assist renters. The department received over 83,000 applications for this first round demonstrating the deep need across the city. A second round, the Chicago Housing Assistance program, launched with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) supported by funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Chicago’s philanthropic community. Through this second round, DOH and DFSS provided over $33 million in assistance to over 10,000 households. Applications for the City of Chicago’s ERAP are open now through 11:59 PM June 8, 2021, at In addition, a call center will provide support in multiple languages to help renters and landlords complete their applications. The call center number is 312-698-0202 and will be open from 9 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday and 10 AM through 6 PM on Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays and on Memorial Day.

Cook County Rental and Utility Assistance Program

Application Status: The application window is closed. For questions regarding the status of an application, log in to the application portal to learn more or visit our resource page to view our progress.

Accessing the Portal: The application link on the County website is disabled to inhibit additional submissions. Applicants can access their application using this link

Legal Aid for Housing and Debt Program

Evictions, foreclosures, and unresolved debt issues can have a long-lasting, negative impact on your future. Call the Early Resolution Program (ERP) to speak with a lawyer and get connected to other resources. The Early Resolution Program (ERP) includes free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance. Mediation is a chance for a landlord and tenant, or debtor and creditor, to resolve issues with the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person.

This program is available to all residents of Cook County free of charge. You do not need to have a case in court to get help.

Call 855-956-5763 to get help today.


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