COVID-19 Resources Related to Housing & Homelessness
Housing Action will make daily updates with new resources as they become available. If you need housing or homelessness assistance for yourself or someone you know, please refer to our Get Help with Housing resources.
Recent Housing Action Illinois initiatives and updates:
- Housing Action Illinois awarded $340,000 to homeless service providers throughout state (May 19)
- State-level advocacy: See our 2020 Illinois General Assembly session wrap-up (May 26) and our March summary of federal and state actions to support people facing housing instability during the pandemic (March 26)
- Federal level advocacy: See our latest action alert (June 26), federal policy recommendations (May 20). and our update about federal CARES Act funding for housing in Illinois (June 17)
- Housing Action guidance on talking about housing and homelessness during COVID-19 (April 29)
Go directly to these sections:
General Housing & Human Services
Legal Resources, Including Evictions and Foreclosures
Homeless Service Providers
Helping Homeowners & Renters
» Mortgage Assistance
» Rental Assistance
» Bank Updates
» Utility Assistance
Housing Providers & Managers
Nonprofit Operations & Funding
United States Census 2020
State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Website
For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email email@example.com.
City of Chicago
General Housing & Human Services
CARES Act Provisions for Homelessness & Housing
In late March, Congress passed the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provides more than $12 billion in funding for HUD programs to help address homelessness and housing. This breakdown from the National Low Income Housing Coalition explains the allocation of those resources.
An online platform for providing program information, guidance, services, and tools to HUD’s community partners.
National Low Income Housing Coalition: COVID-19 Resources
Information on how advocates and government around the country are responding, as well as impact on people experiencing homelessness and low-income households. NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition is hosting weekly webinars on Coronavirus and Homelessness/Housing on Mondays at 1:30 pm CST.
Help Illinois Families Initiative (June 17)
The Pritzker Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has launched a new initiative to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services during COVID-19. Building on the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, the State’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget authorizes an expansion of the LIHEAP and CSBG programs for eligible Illinoisans seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.
Illinois Housing Development Authority COVID-19 Housing Resources
Information on homeownership and rental assistance, multifamily finance updates, and asset management updates.
Your Rights to Housing and Public Benefits After Leaving Illinois State Prisons (June 8)
This resource from Shriver Center explains access to benefits such as public housing, Section 8, medical benefits, SNAP (food assistance), TANF (cash assistance), and guidelines around state IDs after an individual has left an Illinois prison.
Call4Calm Emotional Support Line
IDHS’ Mental Health Division has launched a free-of-charge emotional support text line, Call4Calm, for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 5-5-2-0-2-0, or for Spanish, “HABLAR” to the same number: 5-5-2-0-2-0.
Legal Resources, Including Evictions & Foreclosures
National Housing Law Project: Renter and Homeowner Rights During COVID-19
Resources for attorneys, advocates, policymakers, and others supporting renters and homeowners during the COVID-19 national public health crisis.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions for Enterprise-Backed Mortgages
The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. The foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage. Update: the FHFA has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020.
FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties
On March 23, the the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus. In late June, FHFA announced that servicers can extend forbearance agreements for up to three months, for a total forbearance of up to six months. (June 29)
Federal Housing Finance Agency Resources Finder
To help renters find out if they are protected from evictions during the COVID-19 national health emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have created online multifamily property lookup tools.
HUD Eviction Moratorium Flyers Available in Multiple Languages
HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) have each made resident-oriented flyers explaining the CARES Act eviction moratorium. PIH’s one-page flyer is available in 20 languages.
Executive Order Expanding Moratorium on Evictions in Illinois
On April 23, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker took an important step to protect people against evictions by issuing a new Executive Order, expanding the existing moratorium on law enforcement carrying out eviction and foreclosures, to also restrict the filing of eviction cases solely for nonpayment. Eviction cases can still be filed if the tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation. The Executive Order does not relieve any individual or entity from the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation they might have pursuant to a lease or rental agreement. Additional info explaining the Executive Order is available from Illinois Realtors here. The order was re-issued in its entirety and extended through June 27, 2020 and then re-issued in its entirety and extended again through July 26, 2020. (June 30)
State of Illinois Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation
The state disaster proclamation has been extended for 30 days as of May 29. (June 1)
Illinois Court System
The Illinois Judicial Branch continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19. Includes information for Supreme Court, Appellate Court and county circuit courts.
Illinois Courts Response to the CARES Act
The Illinois courts declare compliance with the CARES Act when it comes to evictions. This will remain in effect until August 24, 2020 or further order of the Court. (June 1)
Illinois Legal Aid Online: Legal Issues During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Legal resources related to housing, work, court proceedings, health care, public benefits, and more.
Cook County Chief Judge Evans Extends Postponement of Most Court Cases
Many criminal and civil cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County were initially postponed for a 30-day period starting Tuesday, March 17 due to the spread of the coronavirus. On March 30, Judge Evans extended this through May 18. Emergency requests in civil matters will be permitted. No orders for an eviction or foreclosure will be entered during the 30-day period. Civil lawsuits may still be filed in person or via electronic filing. An amendment on May 28 orders extensions into July and August. (June 1)
Cook County Sheriff’s Office Suspends Jail Visits, Evictions Due To COVID-19
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has suspended all court-ordered evictions for 30 days starting on March 14.
Homeless Service Providers
CDC Resources on Homelessness
Guidance intended to support response planning by homeless service providers, including overnight emergency shelters, day shelters, and meal service providers. Includes recommendation against clearing encampments.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
Resources include community planning and preparedness, funding, community examples and more.
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Resources for homeless service delivery systems to respond to coronavirus outbreak.
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Message to Homeless Service Providers
On March 20, IDHS announced that they will be making $6 million available for isolation housing for people experiencing homelessness through local CoCs, as well as increasing homeless service providers’ funding by 5% to increase capacity.
Expansion of Services for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Survivors
On April 2, the Illinois Department of Human Services announced a $1.2 million plan to increase the capacity of its statewide network of services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan creates a one-stop access point for shelter needs.
All Chicago Making Homelessness History
Resources for Chicago homeless service providers. All Chicago will also be hosting weekly webinars to share information.
Helping Homeowners & Renters
National Consumer Law Center: Major Consumer Protections in Response to COVID-19
Updates on actions from Congress, governors, federal and state agencies, and businesses to protect consumers in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. Includes information on suspensions of foreclosures, evictions, and terminations of telecommunications and utility service, elimination of interest and forbearance on student loan payments, limits on debt collection, and more.
Expansion of CRA Credit for Activities in Response to COVID-19
Joint statement from the Federal Reserve System, FDIC, and the OCC providing guidance to financial institutions on how they can receive credit on their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities to low- and moderate-income people and communities affected by the coronavirus.
HUD Waiver Suspending Face-to-Face Meeting Requirements with Default Mortgage Borrowers
Link downloads temporary, partial waiver of 24CFR§203.604 Servicing Responsibilities, Contact with the Mortgagor.
IDFPR, Banks, and Advocacy Groups Work Together to Help to Unbanked Cash Stimulus Checks
The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) has announced new options for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check cashing fees. A number of banking institutions (including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Fifth Third and First Midwest, and others), will work with non-customers on cashing their stimulus checks for free.
Get My Payment Illinois
Straightforward website that pulls together clear information to help Illinoisans get their stimulus payments and answer related questions. Includes resources to help nonprofits spread the word. Created by a nonprofit coalition.
State of Illinois Economic Assistance
Information and updates on unemployment assistance, utility relief, food access, loans for small businesses, and the process of filing a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage.
Telehealth Support for Housing Counselors in Illinois
The Community Service Council, a member and Intermediary Affiliate of Housing Action Illinois, is offering professional clinical counseling to help housing counselors deal with anxiety, stress, and other related issues during this uncertain time. To make an appointment for a virtual session call (815) 886-5000.
City of Chicago: COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant
Application for emergency housing assistance from the City of Chicago. Up to $1,000 in rent/mortgage assistance for 2,000 eligible households. The deadline to apply was April 1; we will share information if any new rounds of assistance become available.
HIV Resource Hub + COVID-19 Financial Assistance
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Center on Halsted can help with emergency financial assistance (rent, utility payments) for people who are living with HIV and who are HIV-negative and taking PrEP, as well as connect people with case management, medical care, food, and more. Services are available in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
This accessible, easily navigable site is intended to help renters facing eviction by helping them find out if their building is covered by the federal eviction moratorium, informing them about local eviction protections, and connecting them with local legal aid resources. It was developed by The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj after their episode on the current and looming eviction crisis.
Chicago Housing Authority Announces Rent Deferment for Residents
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has announced that residents of CHA-owned buildings can wait to pay rent until after the statewide Stay at Home order is lifted on May 1. CHA will not issue any late rent notices during this period and does not charge late fees for overdue rent. While the deferral does not apply to voucher holders in privately-owned housing, CHA will reach out to landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher program to urge them to work with their tenants during this uncertain time.
HUD Issues New CARES Act Mortgage Payment Relief for FHA Single Family Homeowners
On April 1, HUD announced a tailored set of mortgage payment relief options for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announcements and Resources in Response to COVID-19
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is compiling the most recent updates from and steps taken by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), and the Federal Home Loan Banks to help those impacted by the coronavirus.
FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans
This newly announced payment deferral option allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity.
The Urban Institute: Homeowners’ Guide to Mortgage Solutions During the COVID-19 Pandemic (June 12)
Homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship or a loss of income due to COVID-19 may be eligible for temporary mortgage payment relief. This guide explains what assistance is available and how to obtain it.
IDFPR Guidance for Banks and Financial Institutions
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced a series of actions on March 30 to ensure the protection of Illinoisans in many areas of consumer borrowing, servicing, and collections. The Department is urging all mortgage servicers to defer mortgage payments for 90 days for those who are suffering hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Banks & Financial Institutions
American Bankers Association: Bank Responses to COVID-19
An alphabetical list of publicly announced steps banks of all sizes have taken to respond to the crisis.
Illinois Commerce Commission: COVID-19 Utility Relief Agreements (June 18)
The ICC initiated an agreement with eight of Illinois’ major utility companies and five smaller utility companies to extend the moratorium on disconnections and late payment fees until Illinois enters Phase Four of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, or until August 1, 2020, whichever comes first. View more information on how ICC is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citizens Utility Board FAQ on Consumer Protections
Answers to frequently asked questions and a podcast breaking down the the ICC’s COVID-19 consumer protections, how they’re helping, and what will happen after these measures expire.
Housing Providers and Managers
HUD’s FHA Office of Multifamily Housing Programs
Multifamily Housing COVID-19 guidance from HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Office of Multifamily Housing Programs.
The Public Housing Authorities Directors Association
Includes links to local housing authorities’ contingency plans, policies and procedures, and other outreach in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
National Apartment Association
Guidance for dealing with the coronavirus for property management.
National Multifamily Housing Council
Coronavirus preparedness for apartment firms.
Institute of Real Estate Management
IREM statement and resources on COVID-19 for property and asset managers.
LeadingAge Coronavirus Resources
Guidance and tools for aging services providers, including staffing resources, media tools, and more.
Illinois Realtors COVID-19 Resources
Guidance for realtors on open houses, showings, unemployment, property management, and more.
DCEO: Phase 3 Recovery Guidance for Real Estate Licensees and Consumers (June 9)
Guidance for realtors on open houses and showings under Phase 3 (Recovery) of the “Restore Illinois” plan. Showings of occupied rental units are permitted when the tenant has consented and appropriate public health requirements are met.
Illinois Housing Council
COVID-19 resources for affordable housing developers based in Illinois.
Nonprofit Operations & Funding
CARES Act Funding for Nonprofits
Through the new federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), organizations with 500 or fewer employees will be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans to meet payroll and associated costs such as health insurance premiums, facilities costs, and debt service. Some loans will qualify for loan forgiveness. The Small Business Association released the application form on April 3, and loans will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Enterprise: Resilient Futures Resources
This collection of resources is intended to support housing nonprofits as they navigate and recover from the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund
The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of Governor JB Pritzker, established this fund to disburse grants to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 DD Relief Fund
The Arc of Illinois, in partnership with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities, providing funds to assist providers in filling gaps in services that people with developmental disabilities and families are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund
BCBSIL has opened a $1.5M funding program to support community-based organizations with missions focused on access to health care, hunger and shelter through $20,000 grants to organizations around the state. Applications are due April 24.
Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched this initiative to unite funds raised by philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the region. On April 13, grant guidelines were shared; applications for the first round of funding are due though this grant portal on April 20, and awards will be announced the week of May 5.
Chicago COVID-19 Homeless System Agency Emergency Fund
All Chicago announced this new fund on March 27; it will provide unrestricted and flexible emergency financial assistance to homeless service agencies as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The fund will make grants on a rolling basis via multiple application rounds.
A Better Chicago Emergency Relief Fund
Nonprofits can request grants for providing direct financial support (e.g. stipends to students who have lost work); providing essential goods and services (e.g. groceries); or rapidly innovating to continue delivering high-quality programming (e.g. virtual instruction). A Better Chicago anticipates making grants ranging from $20K-$100K over three to six months.
COVID-19 Response Fund for the Greater Capital Region of Illinois
Hosted by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln in partnership with United Way of Central Illinois, who have seeded the fund with $50,000, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide resources to local nonprofit organizations in response to coronavirus in our region.
Local COVID-19 Response Funds Throughout Illinois
Forefront has compiled a list of emergency funds for Champaign, Chicagoland, Decatur, DuPage County, Evanston, Fox Valley, Freeport, Grundy County, Kankakee, Knox and Warren County, Lake County, McHenry County, Morton Oak Park-River Forest, Quad Cities, Quincy, Springfield, and Will County.
Chicagoland COVID-19 Community Development Resource Guide
The Chicago Community Loan Fund and Project Forward created this curated guide of resources to help nonprofits, arts and recreational organizations, small-scale real estate firms, social enterprises, worker and food cooperatives, community retailers and other small businesses navigate the myriad of grants, loans and other resources available from public and private sources in response to COVID-19.
Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition
On March 13, USCIS announced that COVID-19 testing, prevention, or treatment would NOT be used against immigrants in a public charge test. This means that immigrant families should seek the care they need during this difficult time.
American Public Health Association
Fact sheets in various languages (English, Spanish, French and Chinese) on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Resources in Multiple Languages from World Relief DuPage/Aurora
Coronavirus information in other languages (not Illinois specific) listed by source and then alphabetically by language, starting with English.
FAQ on CARES Act and Immigrants from NLIHC, NHLP, and NILC
Information about immigrants’ eligibility for various housing and financial assistance programs in addition to implications for public charge determinations.
NHLP Memo on Eligibility Based on Immigration Status
This National Housing Law Project memo explains undocumented immigrant eligibility for services funded by ESG, CDBG, HOME, and FEMA.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
Community resources for immigrant families.
Protecting Immigrant Families – Illinois
PIF-IL has developed guidance in English and in Spanish to help enrollment assisters answer questions community members may have about possible public charge consequences due to accessing specific public benefits and programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Chicago Executive Order to Protect Immigrant and Refugee Communities During COVID-19
On April 7, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order explicitly ensuring that all benefits, opportunities, and services provided or administered by the City of Chicago are accessible to all residents, regardless of birth country or current citizenship status.
United States Census 2020
United States Census Bureau
The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted operations to protect the health and safety of employees and the public and has revised the schedule for operations.
Provides link to the respond to the 2020 Census, as well as additional information and resources.
Did you find these resources helpful?
Please consider making a donation to support our work. Together, we can ensure everyone in Illinois has a good, affordable place to call home.