What to Know About Illinois Housing Development Authority Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Last updated: August 9, 2020 – 3:15 PM

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $3.5 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly allocated $396 million in CRF to Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to fund affordable housing grants, for the benefit of persons impacted by COVID-19, for emergency rental assistance, emergency mortgage assistance and subordinate financing. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program IHDA developed the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to support Illinois tenants unable to pay their rent due to a COVID-19-related loss of income. Tenants whose application is approved will receive a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlord to cover missed rent payments beginning March 2020 and prepay payments through December 2020, or until the $5,000 is exhausted, whichever comes first. 

Application Period Applications for ERA will be accepted August 10th through August 21st. Due to anticipated high volume, the application window may close early. IHDA will use a third-party entity to select a pool of applications to be reviewed for eligibility. Approximately 30,000 tenants are expected to receive funding. Apply at era.idha.org.

To apply for ERA program you will need:

  • access to internet and SMART device (SMART phone, computer, laptop, or tablet). If this is a problem please reach out to us at MTO).
  • an email address (no email, MTO is here to help)
  • 1 form of government issued ID (ex: State ID or DL, Temporary Visitors Driver’s License, Matricula Consular, Foreign Passport- regardless of expiration date, or Resident Identity Card) 
  • 1 document with current address, if different from address on ID (ex: a utility bill, bank statement, credit card or debit statement, social security award letter- no more than 90 days old)
  • your landlord’s email and phone number (so talk to them BEFORE APPLYING)
  • written and valid lease agreement (30 Day lease templates are available for tenants to give to their landlord at MTO. The landlord will have to upload the lease agreement)
  • your household income must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (determine eligibility here or visit era.idha.org
  • you must have an unpaid rent balance that began on or after March 1, 2020 due to lost income related to COVID-19 (the landlord will have to upload a letter or notices of unpaid rent)
  • to have NOT received any other COVID-19 related rental assistance in the household. ERA is 1 application per household
  • to NOT be a renter with a housing subsidy or voucher

Help Applying If you need assistance applying, IHDA has partnered with 62 Community and Outreach Assistance organizations (including MTO) that’s standing by to help you at no cost. You can find a list of these organizations via the Resource button on era.ihda.org. Services are available in English, Spanish, Polish, Italian, French, Romanian, Albanian, Croatian, Serbian, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Cantonese, Tagalog, Mandarin and ASL. For additional assistance you may also call IHDA’s call center at (312) 883-2720, or toll-free at (888) 252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at (877) 274-4309 (TTY). 

Legal Assistance
If you are at imminent risk of eviction and need legal assistance, a legal aid clinic may be able to assist you. All services are free. You can find a list of legal assistance clinics via the Resource button on era.ihda.org

MTO is 1 of 62 Community Groups working with IDHA to  process applications. If you need assistance with the  application or have questions, if you or someone you know is facing eviction, or you want to know your Renters Rights reach out to us.

  1. Leave a voicemail 773-292-4980 anytime
  2. Call MTO’s Renters’ Right Hotline M-F 1pm-4pm at 773-292-4988. 
  3. Inbox MTO on Facebook 
  4. Email MTO Staff

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