Illinois Housing Help

Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance

The Illinois Department of Human Services partners with community-based agencies to provide emergency rental and utility assistance to eligible Illinois households impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  1. Eligibility criteria for the program

    Applicants must meet each of the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:

    1. Illinois residency
    2. Financial hardship due to, or during, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
    3. Applicant's household income does not exceed 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Priority will be given to applicants who either have a household income below 50% AMI or are unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 days
    4. Citizenship is not required. Rental assistance is not a "public- charge" benefit
    5. Applicant has not already received ERA benefits for the same time period from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, or any other County, or City of Chicago program
  2. How to apply

    Eligible tenants and landlords can apply for the ERA program by contacting any of the agencies. You can search for an agency nearest to your residence of an agency that can meet your language need. 

Court Based Rental Assistance

Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program is available to assist tenants outside of Cook County.

  1. Eligibility criteria for the program
    1. Tenant must be in a court-eviction proceeding and provide eviction court documentation.
    2. Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly - or indirectly - due to the pandemic.
    3. The household is behind on rent and/ or is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
    4. Household income was below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
    5. Proof of citizenship is not required.
  2. How to apply 
    1. Section I - Completed by Tenant
      1. After completing Section I, the Tenant will receive an email from DocuSign within 24 hours with instructions to complete Section II. Please monitor your email, including spam and junk folders.
    2. Section II - Completed by Tenant

      Upload documents required to verify eligibility. Once you have submitted Section II, the Landlord will receive an email from DocuSign within 24 hours with instructions to complete Section III.

    3. Section III - Completed by Housing Provider/Landlord

      Both Tenant and Housing Provider/Landlord MUST submit their Sections of the application to be eligible for review.

Legal Assistance

In partnership with the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, Illinois Department of Human Services supports the Eviction Help Illinois program which provides free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance to increase housing stability. Mediation is an opportunity for landlords and tenants to resolve issues with the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person.

Tenants and landlords seeking free legal assistance can find information on available services via this link: