Illinois Housing Help

For individuals that are currently homeless or in immediate danger of eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness, please apply for IDHS' Homeless Prevention program. Services include: rent or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, counseling, case management, and employment services.

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

The Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP) provides funding to Illinois tenants and landlords across the state (outside of Cook County) who have pending cases in eviction court. The program is only available to litigants in eviction court. Applicants may qualify for up to $25,000 in emergency rental payments that can include up to 15 months of past-due rent and 3 months of future rent payments to prevent eviction

The CBRA Program is managed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. For more information, please use this link:

Residents of Cook County can access Court-Based Rental Assistance to prevent eviction through the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt. For more information, please use this link:

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:


For more information on the accomplishments of Court Based Rental Assistance and the Legal Assistance programs, please see this link:  Eviction Prevention Through Legal Services and Court-Based Rental Assistance (pdf)