(The Center Square) – Federal taxpayers covered rental assistance for more than 137,000 Illinois households since 2020, at a cost of nearly $1.02 billion.
The Pritzker administration announced the totals with the closure of the second round of the Illinois Rental Payment Program Monday. The program paid up to $25,000 in rental assistance to cover up to 15 months of past due rent paid directly to the landlord.
Of more than 64,000 applications, about 27,000 were approved for the second round of the program. The average level of assistance was nearly $7,500. For applicants who did not have a responding landlord, about 3,100 were approved for direct payments for a total of $25 million, an increase of $15 million from the first round of the program for tenants without a responding landlord.
The program was created during the COVID-19 pandemic after the governor ordered most businesses to suspend in-person operations, spiking unemployment filings as people were laid off.
“These financial burdens forced many Illinois households to prioritize their spending to survive, leaving many unable to pay their full monthly housing costs,” Gov. J.B. Pritkzer’s office said Monday. “Therefore, it was critical to expeditiously develop and implement a strategy to ensure every Illinoisan had the resources necessary to stay safely housed.”
Funds for the assistance program came from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Any remaining funds will be put into the Court-Based Rental Assistance Program.
Renters facing immediate eviction can apply for funds through the Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program online at IllinoisHousingHelp.org/CBRAP.