Illinois launches assistance program for homeowners struggling due to COVID

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real estate
(Photo: Landon Ford)
Information provided by the Illinois Housing Development Authority

CHICAGO, Ill. (April 12, 2022) – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) recently announced the opening of the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) to help homeowners who have fallen behind on monthly mortgage payments and/or related housing expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Struggling homeowners will be eligible for up to $30,000 in free assistance to pay past due mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, and delinquent homeowner and/or condo association fees.

“Housing stability is a crucial part of our economic recovery, and I’m pleased to announce that Illinois residents can now apply for $30,000 in mortgage support,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois was the fastest state in the nation to respond to the housing crisis of 2020, and with the need still high, we’re delivering another $309 million to struggling mortgage owners this spring. A good life, a good job, the ability to focus in a classroom — it all starts with a roof over your head. And that’s what every Illinoisan deserves.”

Administered by IHDA, ILHAF is designed to assist homeowners facing mortgage delinquency, default, or foreclosure. To qualify, Illinois homeowners must have experienced a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost income or increased expenses, on or after January 21, 2020. They must also currently own and occupy their Illinois home as their primary residence, be at least 30 days behind on their mortgage or other homeowner expenses, and have a household income at or below 150% of the Area Median Income. Homeowners in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the health and economic effects of the pandemic will be prioritized in the distribution of assistance.

“For over two years, Illinois has been a national leader in delivering emergency rent and mortgage assistance to vulnerable households impacted by the pandemic,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “After helping tens of thousands of renters avoid eviction, this program for homeowners is the next step in our ongoing efforts to make sure nobody is left behind in our state’s recovery.”

Eligibility and application

To be eligible to apply, homeowners must have consulted with a HUD-certified housing counselor or spoke to their mortgage servicer about their mitigation options beginning January 1, 2022. A certificate from a HUD-certified housing counselor or a letter from a mortgage servicer detailing efforts to resolve the delinquency is required to have an ILHAF application reviewed.

Homeowners in need of assistance can find more information on program eligibility and begin an application at www.illinoishousinghelp.org. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

When ready to apply, homeowners should also have the following documentation to ease their application process:

  • Proof of identification, including but not limited to a driver’s license, state ID, permanent residency card or other form of ID.
  • Proof of household income, including but not limited to tax returns, pay stubs, or other documentation.
  • Proof of occupancy, including but not limited to a bank statement, cell phone bill, credit/debit card statement, or other documentation.
  • Proof of ownership, including but not limited to a property tax bill, property deed, or other documentation.
  • Delinquency statement, including but not limited to a mortgage statement, property tax statement, insurance statement, or HOA/Condo Association statement.

More information on the application process, including videos on how to apply, a complete list of required documents, and a list of participating housing counselors, can be found at www.illinoishousinghelp.org.

IHDA has partnered with more than 35 non-profit housing counseling agencies, community-based organizations, and legal aid groups across Illinois to help homeowners overcome technological and/or language barriers, or are already in the foreclosure process. This technical assistance is provided at no cost and is available in more than 37 languages, including American Sign Language. Homeowners who need help preparing for their application can visit www.illinoishousinghelp.org or call 866-454-3571 to connect with a ILHAF program partner.

ILHAF is federally funded through an allocation to the state of Illinois in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2). This program builds upon several homeowner and renter assistance efforts undertaken by the Pritzker administration, including the Emergency Mortgage and Rental Assistance Programs in 2020 and the Illinois Rental Payment Program in 2021. Together these programs will deliver more than $1 billion in emergency rent and mortgage payment assistance to Illinois households during the pandemic.

For more information and updates on the ILHAF program, please visit www.illinoishousinghelp.org.

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