SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker was joined by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and local elected officials in Chicago on Friday to promote the Illinois Emergency Homeowners Relief Fund for struggling homeowners.
Overseen by the Housing Authority, the Emergency Relief Fund is funded by the US Federal Bailout Act and is dedicated to helping Illinois homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage or other housing expenses such as utilities and household energy services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know families in Illinois are still facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we want everyone to know that housing assistance is here,” said the executive director of housing authority Kristin Faust at a press conference.
The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by Congress in 2021 and Illinois received $309 million to cover housing costs such as delinquent mortgage payments, property taxes, building insurance, and utility costs. association of overdue owners and co-owners. Part of the delay in creating the fund was due to pending federal approval.
Homeowners can apply for a grant of up to $30,000 in mortgage support that will eliminate or reduce payments associated with home ownership.
To be approved, homeowners must see a Certified Housing and Urban Development Advisor or speak to their mortgage service provider for assistance and then, depending on the outcome, seek assistance through the online portal of the housing authority.
Applicants are required to have a certificate from a HUD-certified housing counselor or a letter from the mortgage officer detailing efforts to resolve the default.
To be eligible, homeowners must be at least 30 days past due on their mortgage, have a household income at or below 150% of the region’s median income, own and occupy the property as their primary residence, and have experienced financial hardship. directly related to COVID-19 on or after January 21, 2020.
Rep. Aaron Ortiz, a Democrat from Chicago, said when the pandemic started, he brought voters into his district office upset and worried about how they were going to pay their mortgages. He noted that the pandemic has intensified issues such as economic inequality, lack of well-paying jobs and housing insecurity.
“Thousands of parents across the state are losing sleep worrying about what will happen to their children if they can’t pay their mortgage. We can’t let this continue,” Ortiz said. “The relief provided by this fund couldn’t come at a better time.”
When applying, landlords will need to provide proof of identity, household income, household occupancy, ownership and delinquency of mortgage, property tax or insurance records .
People can apply for funds at no cost until the end of May at www.idha.orgor they can call (866) 454-3571 for assistance.
The housing authority has also partnered with non-profit housing advice agencies, community organizations and legal aid groups to help landlords who face language or technology barriers to the application portal by line.
Tenants can request assistance through the Illinois Department of Social Services. Eligible households could receive up to 15 months of rent, including previous rent due from June 2020 to August 2021.
To be eligible for housing assistance, residents must have a household income at or below 80% of the area’s median income, have experienced financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic, and be behind on rent or at risk of becoming homeless or unstable.
The income limit will depend on the county and is adjusted according to the number of people living in the household.
Since the start of the pandemic, the national housing authority has distributed more than $593 million to fund more than 64,000 applicants in need of housing assistance, according to its website.
“Housing stability is a crucial part of our economic recovery,” Pritzker said. “A good life, a good job, the ability for kids to focus in their classrooms – it all starts with having a roof over your head.”