Double the demand for state’s $300M COVID housing aid fund

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In August, IHDA announced $300 million from the state’s share of federal CARES Act relief funds would be disbursed to renters and homeowners who were falling behind on rent or mortgage. 

The $150 million fund for renters was enough to make 30,000 direct payments of $5,000 to landlords. By the Aug. 28 application deadline, 80,000 applications were in. Because some applications were duplicates or didn’t qualify, Faust said, the final number is slightly more than 60,000. 

The fund for homeowners, also $150 million, was enough to help about 10,000 homeowners at amounts up to $15,000. By the Sept. 4 deadline, about 20,000 applications were received. Faust said that figure is not likely to be reduced significantly.  

From the beginning, “we expected to be over-subscribed,” Faust said, in large part because Illinois had four months of double-digit unemployment, which stretched into its fifth month after the fund was announced. “There’s so much economic uncertainty now,” she said.” 

IHDA started sending rental assistance checks to successful applicants Sept. 10, Faust said, and has been sending them out daily since. She was not able to say how many have been sent. The agency plans to complete sending out rental assistance by Nov. 10, she said. 

Applicants for rental assistance, whether successful or rejected, will all hear from the agency by that date, Faust said. Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week extended the statewide moratorium on evictions through Oct. 22, which gives renters additional time to wait for the IHDA assistance to be issued to their landlords. 

On the homeownership side, Faust said there’s a chance that more than the expected 10,000 applicants will get funds. Faust said the more aid recipients who receive less than the maximum $15,000, the more households will get part of the $150 million. 

No mortgage assistance checks have been sent yet. Faust said the process is longer in those cases, because the homeowner’s mortgage servicer has to get involved, but she expects to have the full $150 million disbursed by the end of November. Both successful and failed applicants will hear from the agency by then, she said. 

The $300 million fund, Faust said, was the nation’s largest designed to help with housing payments, and still came up well short. 

"We’d like to be able to help everyone," she said. 

On either rental or mortgage assistance, households whose applications were rejected can find other resources on IHDA’s website. 

via Crain’s Chicago Business

September 21, 2020 at 02:33PM

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