by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

May 18, 2021

SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced expanded housing and rental aid for Illinois residents, offering grants of up to $25,000 in federal aid.

Pritzker’s housing assistance announcement included more than just the fresh funds.  He also stated that the state’s eviction moratorium will come to an end in August, with a “gradual phase out over the next few months.”

Pritzker stated, “The Illinois Rental Assistance Program is a testament to how good government can make a life-changing difference for people when our dollars… follow our values.” “With this program expansion, we will be able to increase the impact for tens of thousands of Illinois residents.”

The Governor was joined by state senators and representatives from Chicago, as well as other state officials, for the announcement of the rental aid program, which is projected to help 120,000 renters.

Beginning later this summer, struggling homeowners will be able to access $400 million in mortgage assistance, according to Pritzker.  The $25,000 one-time award will cover missing rent payments as far back as June 2020, as well as pre-payments until August 2021, or until the funds are depleted.

Any Illinois renter whose household income in 2020 was less than 80% of the area median income, who is behind on their rent payments, and has faced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, is eligible for up to $25,000 in rental assistance, which will be given directly to their housing provider or landlord.

According to a news release introducing the initiative, those who earn less than half of their area’s median income and households with one or more people who have been unemployed for at least 90 days would be given priority.  Residents can apply for the rental payment program from Monday to June 7.