rent due 081220CHICAGO – Illinoisans across the state have faced financial struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic — but those on Chicago’s South Side have been disproportionately affected. Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is urging those residents to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program.

“People desperately need help with rent,” Hunter said. “Though residents can’t get evicted right now, they will still need to pay their rent at some point. It’s my hope the program will help those who have been unemployed or not receiving income due to COVID-19 to catch up on their bills.”

Earlier this week, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced $150 million in available funds to help residents across the state during this national emergency by introducing the largest housing assistance program in the nation.

Tenants whose applications are approved will receive one-time grants of up to $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments beginning March 2020 and prepay payments through December 2020, or until the $5,000 is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Tenants are eligible if:

  • Their household income before March 1, 2020 was at or below 80% of the Area Median Income,
  • An adult member of the household had a loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis on or after March 1, 2020; or
  • A household has an unpaid rent balance that began on or after March 1, 2020.

“Helping people most in need is what the government is supposed to do,” Hunter said. “I’m proud our state is able to do something impactful during this time.”

Residents who are eligible may apply online at Applications for ERA will be accepted now through Aug. 21.

Please note, applicants should apply as soon as possible, as the application window may close early due to high volume.