• Zulema Herrera Herrera

Illinois Housing Bill Passed to Offer Rental Assistance amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: May 21

By Zulema Herrera

On May 17th the HB 2877 House Bill was officially passed in the Illinois House. Originally reintroduced by State Rep. Delia Ramirez in March 2021, this bill will provide emergency housing support and eviction protections to Illinois homeowners, tenants, and landlords.

The COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act (House Bill 2877), was introduced given the economic hardships faced by the community during the COVID-19 pandemic which threatened jobs, livelihoods, and housing security . From an announcement by the Illinois House Democratic Caucus, the bill will create automatic sealing of eviction and ensure that financial aid will be allocated efficiently to renters economically affected.

The contents HB2877 Bill, effective immediately:

  • Creates and contains provisions for the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act

  • Allows for more accessibility and transparency, with a process that prioritizes applicants for financial assistance and housing stability services.

  • Will require notifications and correspondence throughout process of financial assistance.

  • Amends the Code of Civil Procedure, changing the sealing of court files and ensures that new provisions regarding the court files in a residential eviction action apply until August 1, 2022.

  • Contains provisions for the sealing of court file in residential eviction, emergency sealing of a court file in the eviction action during the COVID-19 emergency and economy recovery period, and a temporary COVID-19 stay of certain foreclosure proceedings and fillings.

  • Makes changes to provision regarding demand for rent and eviction actions.

  • Makes changes in the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive business Practices Act.

Eligibility for Illinois Rental Payment Program:

  • Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic.

  • For any household, in 2020, that was below 80 % of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size.

  • The household has to reside in Illinois and rent their home as their primary residence

  • The household must have an unpaid rent balance

  • Priority is given to households earning less than 50% of AMI and to households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days.

"COVID-19 is a far-reaching crisis that beyond health devastation, has left many without the ability to pay their bills, putting families in jeopardy of losing their homes,” said Ramirez in the announcement, “Now, more than ever, it is time to forge a proactive path forward by ensuring families throughout the state are able to stay in their homes, so that they can recover.”

State Rep. Carol Ammons, a sponsor of the bill, posted about the successful passing of the bill on her Instagram account, describing it as a "labor of love" for Illinois residents. Approved applicants of the program will receives one-time grants up to $25,000 for missed payments as far back as June 2020 and will be able to prepay the payments through August 2021—or until funds last.

This is an Instagram post from Rep. Carol Ammons' Account

"We knew that when the eviction moratorium was lifted, it would displace thousands of people, so we worked day and night to build a program that would strengthen tenant protections and give more in rental assistance," said Rep. Ammons in her post, "I am so proud to have fought for this bill along side my colleagues in the House."

Applications to the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRP) are open from May 17th until June 7 2021. Access to the application can be found on their website at: ILRPP.IHDA.org. You can also contact this number for questions about the program: (312) 836-5200

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