Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) today announced that more than $443 million in emergency rental assistance has been paid on behalf of 49,100 households through the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP). With 90 percent of the more than $500 million in available ILRPP funds paid to households in need, Illinois continues to be one of the highest providers of rental assistance in the country in terms of households assisted and dollars disbursed, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“Last year amidst one of the most difficult years of our lifetime, IHDA designed, implemented and launched one of the largest emergency housing assistance programs in the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And today, we remain a national leader at getting relief into the pockets of landlords and homeowners,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Having a roof over your head is the foundation of a thriving life, and Illinois is fiercely combatting the pandemic’s destabilizing effects on that foundation by keeping our residents on their feet.”
Launched in May 2021, ILRPP provides up to $25,000 in emergency rental assistance to cover up to 12 months of past-due rent and up to three months of future rent payments for tenants suffering a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments are made directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant, but only if the landlord does not pursue eviction.
To date, IHDA has received nearly 99,000 joint ILRPP applications from renters and landlords in each of Illinois’ 102 counties. The department has reviewed all completed applications, approved more than 49,100 applications and paid out $442.2 million on behalf of renters experiencing pandemic-related hardships for an average of $9,021 per household. Renters in 99 of Illinois’ 102 counties have been assisted with ILRPP funds.
“Thanks to the coordination and outreach efforts from IHDA, the Department of Human Services and our network of community-based partners throughout Illinois, ILRPP assistance is reaching renters in every part of the state,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “Our goal is to fund as many eligible households as possible as quickly as possible while being responsible stewards of these federal funds. Our staff is reaching out directly to renters and landlords to collect any missing information and we remain committed to giving every household the time and support they need to complete their application.”
By reaching this milestone, Illinois may be eligible to receive additional rental assistance funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Per the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, beginning Sept. 30, 2021, the Secretary of the Treasury began the process of recapturing excess funds not obligated by a grantee and the Secretary will reallocate and repay such amounts to eligible grantees who, at the time of such reallocation, have obligated at least 65 percent of the amount originally allocated and paid. Combined with the funding allocated to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the State of Illinois has reached the threshold to receive additional rental funds, should they be made available. Governor Pritzker sent a letter to the Treasury Department formally requesting additional emergency rental assistance funding.
Roughly $61 million in funding remains to be distributed, and IHDA continues to ramp up efforts to correct applications that are missing documentation required by federal rules. Missing federally required documentation is the most common reason for delays in approval and getting funds to households in need, and IHDA is working closely with tenants and landlords to collect the information needed to approve funding. More than $145.8 million in emergency rental payments have been made on behalf of 15,300 renter households who successfully remedied their incomplete application. Application approvals and payouts will continue as IHDA finalizes the review of completed applications.
This initial funding for ILRPP was provided through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and additional rounds of assistance for both rent and mortgage payments will be announced later this fall from the American Rescue Plan Act. Tenants and landlords should continue to check their email (including spam folders) for any updates from IHDA regarding their application. To speak with an IHDA call center representative, please call (866) 454-3571 (toll-free). To check the status of a submitted application, please visit ilrpp.ihda.org/status.
For renters who missed the window to apply for assistance through IHDA, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is currently accepting applications for rental assistance until funding runs out. Households looking for assistance should contact an IDHS Service Provider Agency to ask about rental assistance. Provider Agencies will help determine eligibility and assist with the application process. A list of Provider Agencies, as well as organizations offering assistance with utility bills, free legal aid, and additional services, can be found at: www.illinoisrentalassistance.org.
“We are very pleased to work in conjunction with the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the service providers across the state to ensure that eligible applicants looking for assistance with rent or utility support get the help they need and apply for available funding,” said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services. “We are committed to keeping Illinoisans in their home. Additionally, we are also offering legal services, free of charge for households at risk of eviction.”
Further aiming to reduce evictions in Illinois, a Court-Based Rental Assistance Program administered by IDHS is available to assist tenants outside of Cook County with active cases in eviction court. Tenants may apply for up to 12 months of past-due rent and up to three months of future rent payments using their eviction court case number at ilrpp.ihda.org.