ILLINOIS – Illinois residents who have struggled to keep up with their mortgages during the COVID-19 pandemic are once again eligible for assistance of up to $30,000 through a program offered by the Housing Development Authority of the state.
Governor JB Pritzker’s office announced Wednesday that applications for financial assistance from the Illinois Homeowners Assistance Fund will reopen Nov. 1. The program was launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer assistance to homeowners who may have lost their jobs or are in financial difficulty due to pandemic-related issues.
Funds issued under the program will be disbursed directly to mortgage lenders or companies that service homeowners’ loans. The money will be paid out as grants, meaning they won’t have to be repaid.
“No Illinoisan should have to choose between paying their mortgage and putting food on the table,” Pritzker said in a press release Wednesday.. “That’s why we created the Illinois Homeowners Relief Fund to provide much-needed relief to our residents who have struggled throughout the pandemic.
To qualify for assistance from the fund, homeowners must have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic after January 21, 2020. Residents must also currently own and occupy their Illinois home as their primary residence, be at least 30 days late. on their monthly housing payments, and have a household income at or below 150% of the area median income.
Applicants must demonstrate that they have either contacted their mortgage provider about their inability to pay or sought advice from a HUD-approved counseling agency.
The Homeowners Assistance Fund is funded by an appropriation provided under the US Federal Bailout Act of 2021, which was signed into law in March 2021.
The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus aid designed to accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic included $9.96 billion allocated to state territories. The State of Illinois received $386.9 million which was appropriated for IHDA by the Illinois General Assembly.
“The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that homeowners struggling with this terrible pandemic can stay in their homes,” Kristin Faust, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said in the release. “We have designed the ILHAF program to ensure that the most vulnerable households are prioritized to avoid lockdown to ensure they have the opportunity to be current on their monthly housing expenses.”
Information and updates on applications and programs are available at illinoishousinghelp.org. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.