November 2, 2020

Chicago Department of Family & Support Services to Re-open the Online Application for its Rental Assistance Program from November 2-15

Households can be eligible for up to six months of assistance; funding also available for residents without U.S. citizenship documentation

CHICAGO– Today, the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS) announced a re-opening of the online application for its Rental Assistance Program (RAP) from November 2-15 at Chicago.gov/fss/RAP. RAP is a DFSS homeless prevention initiative that offers up to six months of support – including payment of rent and rent arrears – for eligible households that are at immediate risk of eviction. 

“COVID-19 continues to impact families in Chicago, leaving many renters behind in their rent payments. Helping families stay in their existing home is a top priority for this administration,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “This year, because of the pandemic, we have taken steps to make it easier for residents to apply and have moved our process online. By doing so, we hope to reach more households, raise overall awareness of the RAP program and prevent homelessness this winter for as many families as we can.” 

To be eligible for RAP, households must currently reside in a rental unit and have experienced a documented crisis or emergency within the last 90 days, such as: 

  • Temporary loss of income 
  • Fire or flood 
  • Court order to vacate (foreclosure or eviction) 
  • Domestic violence 
 
RAP assistance includes payment of future rent or rent arrears to prevent eviction, and security deposits in cases of fire, flood, foreclosure, domestic violence or eviction. Also, the property owner or manager must agree to participate in the household’s eligibility verification. The RAP online application will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, at Chicago.gov/fss/RAP. Year-round, the paper-copy of the RAP application is available at one of the City’s six community service centers

DFSS launched the online RAP application in July 2020 and received over 1,900 applications. Nearly $800,000 in rental assistance has been provided to eligible households in Chicago this year. Funded federally through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the CARES Act, $16 million is designated in Chicago for rental assistance through September 2022. 

As the City’s leading agency for addressing homelessness, DFSS annually provides over $30 million of funding to community-based agencies that support residents experiencing homelessness with shelter, prevention, outreach, rapid re-housing and flexible housing services – managing nearly 200 contracts from 51 delegate agencies serving clients at 117 sites. Residents can access homeless services via City Services by calling 3-1-1 and online at Chicago.gov/homeless.  

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