Illinois Rental Assistance Program - Mother and child embracing each other

Behind on rent due to COVID-19?
We’re here to help.

who's eligible?

What is the Rental Assistance Program?

The Rental Assistance Program is here to help keep families stably housed, and ensure that tenants and Housing Providers/Landlords are financially secure to prevent a tide of evictions due to COVID-19.

If you are a renter whose primary residence is in Illinois and are behind on rent due to economic hardship caused by COVID-19, you may be eligible for up to 15 months of rental payments to cover back-rent owed from June 2020 through August 2021.

Proof of citizenship is not required to apply and financial assistance is grant money and does NOT have to be repaid.

4-Step Eligibility Check

1. In Illinois you are either a:

Housing Provider/Landlord
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2. Your household (or your tenant’s household) experienced financial hardship directly, or indirectly, due to the pandemic.

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3. Your household (or your tenant’s household) is behind on rent and/or is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

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4. Now check to see if your/your renter’s household income is at or below the limit indicated on this table.

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What's next?

Select Which Rental Assistance Program Best Fits Your Needs

If you are a renter or Housing Provider/Landlord who has renters in Illinois and meet the requirements in the 4-Step Eligibility Check, then you may be eligible to apply for rental assistance.

option 1

Check If IHDA Is Accepting Applications

If IHDA’s Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) is accepting applications, apply through the Illinois Housing Development Authority using the button below. Check back regularly to see if this program is accepting applications.

TIP: This is a joint application that requires both the renters and the Housing Provider/Landlord to submit their information.

option 2

Contact an IDHS Service Provider Agency Near You

If ILRPP is not accepting applications at this time, contact an IDHS service provider agency in your area. Provider agencies can walk you through the application process and help you apply for rental assistance.

TIP: Individuals can apply to IHDA and IDHS rental assistance programs but will only be granted assistance from one of these two programs.

All Assistance Programs

In addition to Rental Assistance, you may be eligible for other financial help.
Illinois Rental Assistance Program - Illinois Utility Bill Assistance

Utility Bill Assistance

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services*. Energy costs can place severe stress on a family’s budget—sometimes forcing households to make painful decisions regarding which bills to pay and which necessities to survive without. To apply for utility assistance, begin your pre-application process to get connected with a local agency that can help.

*Utility Bill Assistance is also available through IDHS. To get a referral for Utility Bill Assistance through an IDHS service provider contact an agency near you using the Provider Network.
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Image with "Free legal aid" and "Emergency Rental Assistance" text.

Legal Aid for Housing Issues

Eviction Help Illinois provides free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance to increase housing stability. Mediation is an opportunity for landlords and tenants to resolve issues with the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person.

See if you qualify for free legal aid for housing issues.

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Illinois Rental Assistance Program - Additional Support Services in Illinois

Additional Support Services in Illinois

In addition to rental assistance, IDHS offers Illinois families the necessary support systems to help them survive and ultimately thrive.

Examples of IDHS Services
  • Mental Health and Rehabilitation Services
  • Family and Community Services including Domestic Violence Prevention and SNAP (formerly Food Stamps)
  • Medical Assistance
  • Early Intervention for children from birth to age 3 to determine Developmental Disabilities or Delays and more
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Resources for Renters

Income-eligible renters in Illinois can get up to 15 months in rental assistance, regardless of immigration status.

All programs will offer assistance with up to 12 months of unpaid or past due rent and up to 3 months of future rent. Depending on the program you apply for, you may also be eligible for assistance with utility payments as well.

Resources for housing providers

Encourage your tenants who are behind on rent for 30 days or more due to pandemic-related economic hardship to apply for emergency rental assistance. Here are a few resources to help facilitate the application process.

Illinois Rental Assistance Program - family holding hands

Rental Assistance for ALL Eligible Illinoisans

Will There Be Enough Help Available?

Reaffirming Governor Pritzker’s commitment to housing stability and eviction prevention during the pandemic, the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) will deploy multiple rounds of funding totaling $1.5 billion dollars to fund two statewide rental assistance programs—nearly 4 times the amount available to our state last year. We expect there will be enough funding to help our most vulnerable residents.

Federally and state-funded programs also provide a combination of emergency financial assistance, case management, and community outreach to address housing challenges Illinois renters may be facing.

Who is Most at Risk for Losing Their Home Due to the Pandemic?

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) estimates that there are approximately 414,000 vulnerable households that are experiencing housing insecurity in Illinois. An estimated 60,000 of these households are vulnerable to eviction in 2021. This is triple the number of evictions in Illinois in 2019, demonstrating the potential for a significant increase in COVID-19 related evictions. Housing insecurity caused by the pandemic affects a disproportionate number of low-income renters, disabled renters, veterans, and renters of color.