Application Period Open for Illinois COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Program | Government and politics

REBECCA ANZEL Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — About 10,000 Illinois households whose members struggled to pay their mortgages during the novel coronavirus pandemic can receive grants worth up to $15,000 each from the State Housing Development Authority.

A US Census Bureau survey found that more than one in 10 residents have “little or no confidence” that they can repay their loans in September due to the economic repercussions caused by COVID-19 economic restrictions.

And helping those homeowners benefits families, financial institutions and local governments, Kristin Faust, the authority’s executive director, said in a press release. According to the IHDA, “a single foreclosure costs the owner, service agent and local government nearly $80,000.”

“Everyone suffers when a friend, family member or neighbor is foreclosed, and the pandemic has left too many families at risk of losing their homes,” Faust said.

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The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program will distribute funds directly to the financial institution through which a household’s mortgage is serviced. This money can be used for overdue payments as well as future payments. No refund is required.

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Eligible Illinoisans include those whose household had at least one adult who experienced lower or zero wages due to COVID-19 and whose mortgage was paid on time before March 2020.

The grants cover the homeowner’s outstanding balance and regular mortgage payments through the end of 2020 or until funding is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Applications opened on August 24 and can be found at ema.ihda.org. They will be accepted until September 4, but the application window may close earlier due to the expected high volume, according to a press release.

The program is designed to “provide essential support to our owners, giving them the time they need to regain financial balance,” Governor JB Pritzker said in a press release.


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“At a time when the link between housing and health is clearer than ever, it is critically important that we keep families stably housed for individual well-being, public health and the recovery of the economy of our state,” he said. “My administration remains committed to doing everything in our power to provide much-needed support to Illinois residents who have been hardest hit by the pandemic…”

Funds for the program came from the federal CARES – or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Illinois received $3.5 billion in total. The General Assembly, when its members were in abridged session in May, allocated $396 million to the House Development Authority to help landlords and tenants.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.