COVID-19 Resources Related to Housing & Homelessness

Housing Action will make ongoing 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.

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Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Statewide Mortgage Assistance

The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) program is currently accepting applications from homeowners for grants of up to $30,000 to eliminate or reduce past-due mortgage and property tax payments. The program is designed to assist Illinois homeowners who have struggled to pay their mortgage due to COVID-19. The application period will close at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

For questions or assistance about ILHAF, reach out to Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) at HAFQuestions@ihda.org or 1-866-454-3571.

Learn more and apply to the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund »

Chicago Mortgage Assistance (closed)

The City of Chicago’s Mortgage Assistance Program provided assistance to low-to moderate-income Chicago homeowners who have suffered an economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are having difficulty paying their mortgage. The program is currently closed. Get more information »

Additional Resources

Many homeowners can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments if they’re struggling financially. Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited time while you build back your finances. Find out more about your options »

HUD approved housing counseling agencies assist homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Locate a HUD approved housing counseling agencies here »

Emergency Rental Assistance

State and local governments in Illinois continue to be leaders in nationwide efforts to distribute emergency rental assistance to prevent evictions and help maintain stable, affordable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit IllinoisRentalAssistance.org to connect to a service provider who can help people apply for rent assistance and EvictionHelpIllinois.org for free legal assistance.

Some Illinois counties have emergency programs that are currently open. Court-based rent assistance is also available for people with eviction cases in court. Get more information and check the status of other rental assistance programs here »

Visit IllinoisHousingHelp.org for more information about statewide assistance programs and EvictionHelpIllinois.org for free legal assistance.

Update on Illinois Rental Payment Program

Update from IHDA on April 18, 2022: IHDA continues to review applications for Round 2 of the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP). We continue to review completed apps as quickly as possible. The review process will continue over the coming weeks, with funding set to continue to go out to approved applicants into early summer. Please continue checking your email and the application portal for status updates while we process applications. Also, we wanted to answer five of the most frequently asked questions to the call center. You may also find them here.

Legal Resources for Renters & Homeowners

National

HUD Notice: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Eviction Moratorium
Background and guidance on HUD’s policies and procedures regarding the eviction relief provided to tenants of certain multifamily properties under the CARES Act. This Notice extends the moratorium on evictions for all HUD-insured or HUD-held mortgages while under forbearance and provides guidance on tenant protections for multifamily properties not subject to forbearance and those with HUD-assisted units.

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 Resources Finder
To help renters find out if they are protected from evictions during the COVID-19 national health emergency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have created online multifamily property lookup tools.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions for Enterprise-Backed Mortgages – Extended
The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to suspend foreclosures and evictions through July 31, 2021. The foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage. (June 2021)

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. (March 2020)

Multifamily Property Owners in Forbearance Now Required to Inform Tenants of Eviction Suspension and Tenant Protections
To increase awareness of available tenant protections, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on August 6 that multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections during the multifamily property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods. (August 2020)

FHFA Announces Multifamily Tenant Protections Requires tenants in Enterprise-backed multifamily properties to be given at least 30 days’ notice before they can be required to vacate
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that tenants of multifamily properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) who are subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent must be given 30 days’ notice to vacate before the tenant can be required to leave the unit. This requirement applies to all Enterprise-backed multifamily properties, regardless of whether the loan is in forbearance. (July 2021)

FHFA Extends Availability of COVID-19 Multifamily Forbearance
Tthe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners as needed, subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic. This is the fourth extension of the programs, which were set to expire September 30, 2021. On October 1, 2021, FHFA will allow the Enterprises to continue offering COVID-19 forbearance to qualified multifamily owners, unless otherwise instructed by FHFA. (September 2021)

FHA Expands Home Retention Measures for Homeowners Financially Impacted By COVID-19
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced additional home retention measures to help homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to bring their mortgage current at the end of their COVID-19 forbearance. Mortgage servicers will be able to use an expanded menu of loss mitigation tools, known as a “waterfall,” to assess homeowners’ eligibility for other options to bring their mortgages current if they do not qualify for FHA’s COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim. These options are available for homeowners whose mortgages were current or less than 30 days past due as of March 1, 2020. (July 2020)

Protections for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule to amend Regulation X to assist mortgage borrowers affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The final rule establishes temporarily procedural safeguards to help ensure that borrowers have a meaningful opportunity to be reviewed for loss mitigation before the servicer can make the first notice or filing required for foreclosure on certain mortgages. In addition, the final rule would temporarily permit mortgage servicers to offer certain loan modifications made available to borrowers experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship based on the evaluation of an incomplete application. The Bureau has also finalized certain temporary amendments to the early intervention and reasonable diligence obligations that Regulation X imposes on mortgage servicers. (June 2021)

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.

Illinois

Eviction Help Illinois
Eviction Help Illinois 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 the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person. (June 2021)

Executive Order Expanding Moratorium on Evictions in Illinois
In April 2020, 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 has been re-issued in its entirety and extended repeatedly, but the state moratorium will be phased out in August 2021. (June 2021)

Illinois Court System
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.

Illinois Legal Aid Online: Legal Issues During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Legal resources related to housing, work, court proceedings, health care, public benefits, and more.

Local

Free Legal Help for Residents of Cook County
If you are a resident of Cook County and are dealing with an eviction, unresolved debt, or unpaid mortgage or property taxes, you may be eligible for free legal help through Cook County Legal Aid and the Early Resolution Program (ERP). You do not need to have a case in court to be eligible for assistance.
Call 855-956-5763 today to learn more and get help.

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; on March 30, Judge Evans extended this through May 18. An amendment on May 28 orders extensions into July and August. 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.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office Suspends Evictions Due To COVID-19
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office suspended all court-ordered evictions for 30 days starting on March 14.

Federal Relief Updates

Federal Updates

  • American Rescue Plan Includes $50 Billion for Housing and Homelessness: On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act. The COVID-19 relief package includes almost $50 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance, including more than $27 billion for rental assistance, $10 billion for homeowner assistance, $5 billion for homelessness assistance, $4.5 billion for utility assistance, $100 million for housing counseling and $20 million for fair housing activities. Of this, more than $1.5 billion in direct funding is coming to Illinois, including more than $660 million in emergency rent assistance, almost $400 million in emergency mortgage assistance and more than $200 million in assistance for people experiencing homelessness. Illinois is also receiving more than 2,100 emergency housing vouchers. Thanks to all members of Congress who supported passage of this package.
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021: In December 2020, lawmakers passed a COVID-19 relief package that includes $25 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance program to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The allocation for rental assistance programs in Illinois is $834,709,843. See the “Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance” section below for information on local programs and application timelines.  Learn more about current, prior, and pending federally funded emergency rental assistance programs for 2021 here.
  • Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures: On June 24, in addition to extending the national CDC eviction moratorium through July 31, 2021, the Biden Administration committed to a number of steps to keep people in their homes. Learn more here.

Illinois State Eviction Moratorium is No Longer in Place

Based on Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-23, the moratorium on law enforcement carrying out eviction orders against certain covered persons was in place through October 3, 2021, after which it was rescinded. The Illinois Eviction Moratorium remained in place despite the Supreme Court decision lifting the CDC National Eviction Moratorium. On August 26, the Supreme Court ruled to end the temporary stay on a lower court ruling seeking to overturn the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Supreme Court’s ruling invalidates the federal eviction moratorium. Read the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s statement on the Supreme Court decision here »

In addition, on July 15, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court announced a revised order concerning residential evictions. Timed to coincide with the resumption of eviction filings effective August 1, the amended order provided for a period in which judges in county courts temporarily stayed residential eviction proceedings against certain covered persons and will refer newly filed cases to programs providing ERA. The most recent amendment to the order extended the temporary stay until October 3. It’s no longer in place.

A September 13 Illinois Supreme Court order requires all summons issued in residential eviction cases include notice regarding the availability of court-based rental assistance.

The COVID-19 Eviction Protection Ordinance that applied to the City of Chicago has also ended.

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