Who is Eligible?
- Illinois residents who are renters and have a household income at or below 80% AMI
- Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly, or indirectly, due to the pandemic
- Household is behind on rent and/or is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
- Proof of citizenship is not required
How to Access Rental Assistance
Are you looking for help accessing rental assistance? Find out if you're eligible and get help with applying by contacting one of IDHS' partner agencies in the following regions and counties:
- City of Chicago
- Central - Cass, Christian, Greene, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby
- Suburban - Cook
- Collar - DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will
- North Central - DeWitt, Fulton, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, Woodford
- Northeast - Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Vermilion
- Northern - Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
- Northwest - Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, LaSalle, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, Whiteside
- Southeast Central - Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie, Richland
- Southern - Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson, Union
- Southwest Central - Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington
- West Central - Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, Warren
You can apply for assistance through the Illinois Housing Development Authority's website starting May 17, 2021
- Emergency Financial Assistance
Emergency assistance is available by contacting IDHS' partner agencies or through the IHDA Illinois Rental Payment Program. Eligible households may receive up to 15 months, including back pay for prior months of rent and utilities.
To participate in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for assistance with utility payments, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/UtilityBillAssistance/Pages/default.aspx
- Legal Assistance
The legal assistance component of the program provides a suite of resources for participants to utilize, depending on where they are in eviction proceedings. These include a central intake and needs assessment, eviction prevention tools and resources, know your rights trainings/resources, virtual legal clinics, direct legal representation, mediation, and courtroom access to rental assistance.
- Case Management
Case management services will be administered through Homeless Continuums of Care and focused on individuals at or below 80% AMI. Case management services will address barriers to housing stability, connect tenants with community and health care resources, and increase access to financial counseling and legal referral services.
- Community Outreach
Led by IDHS and IHDA, community outreach and navigation will reach Black, Latinx, and other communities most impacted by COVID-19 throughout Illinois. In addition, a public awareness campaign will ensure that tenants and providers are educated and aware of available resources and how to access them.
Launching in May 2021, the goal of the program is to keep families stably housed, ensure tenants and landlords are financially secure, and prevent a tide of evictions due to COVID-19.
The program will provide a combination of emergency financial assistance, legal assistance, case management, and community outreach, to address housing crises for Illinois residents.
The program is a multiagency collaboration between IDHS, IHDA, DCEO, and many nonprofit frontline service providers across the state.
What is at Stake?
IDHS estimates that there are approximately 414,000 vulnerable households that are experiencing housing insecurity in Illinois. We estimate that 60,000 of these households are vulnerable to eviction in 2021. This is triple the number of evictions in Illinois in 2019, demonstrating the potential for a significant increase in COVID-19 related evictions. Housing insecurity precipitated by COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on low-income Illinois renters, disabled renters, veterans, and renters of color.