Illinois Rental Payment Program Offers Up to $25K for Tenants Struggling to Pay Rent

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The Illinois Rental Payment Program opens Monday, with thousands of dollars available to Illinois residents who are struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for the ILRPP will be accepted beginning Monday. Tenants and landlords could be eligible for up to 15 months of assistance in grant form to cover the past due rent from the last 12 months as well as future rental assistance for the next three months if necessary, the state says. The maximum grant amount is $25,000, provided by federal funding.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to discuss the program, announcing "major rental relief" at 9 a.m. in Chicago Monday. The news conference can be watched live in the video player above.

In order to be eligible, applicants must be behind on their rent for at least 30 days and renting the home as their primary residence. Applicants must also have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the pandemic: being laid off, place of employment has closed, reduced work hours, loss of child or spousal support, staying home with children because of their day care or school closure, unable to find work or unable to work at prior employer because of a high risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19 and more.

Applicants must also be at risk of homelessness or housing instability, officials say, and the household's total gross income cannot exceed 80% of the area's median income. In Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane and DuPage counties, that would mean a family of four is eligible if they make no more than $74,550.

The state is strongly encouraging renters to apply jointly with landlords for the assistance. If approved, the funding will be paid directly to the housing provider in the form of a check, officials say.

Documentation required includes, for housing providers: evidence of past due rent, a copy of a 2019 property tax bill or 2021 monthly mortgage statement, rental unit information and more.

Tenants applying for the program must submit a utility bill or proof of address, proof of household income and a photo ID, among other items. Proof of immigration status or a social security are not required to apply.

For more information, including detailed instructions on how to apply, click here.

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