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Emergency Housing Assistance Available for Illinois Seniors

August 17, 2020

Seniors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now receive rent assistance from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The agency announced a new program that will help renters by making direct payments to landlords. Older adults who live in rental housing may have had a difficult time keeping their rent paid in a timely manner due to job loss, reductions in hours or pay, or illness connected to the pandemic. The program, which was established by the CARES Act passed by Congress earlier in the year, is designed to help with rent payments.

Individuals and families that need rent assistance can receive up to a $5,000 grant (tax-free) that is paid directly to the landlord. But the window to apply for help to pay your rent is short. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 21st, 2020. Because demand is expected to be high, it is recommended that those wishing to apply do so immediately.

Qualifying for Rent Assistance

In order to be eligible for this emergency rental assistance program, you must:

  • Have an income as of March 1st 2020 that qualifies. The amount varies by location, and you can look up the amount for your area on the agency’s website before completing the full application.
  • A member of your household has had a loss of income due to COVID-19 (this can be a job loss, reduction in hours, or reduction in salary).
  • Have an unpaid rent balance that began after March 1st, 2020.
  • Complete an application at the agency’s website. The application is available here.

Applying For Help with Rent Payments

The application should take no more than 10 minutes. You’ll need a few pieces of information, such as:

  • Your landlord’s full name and e-mail address.
  • Proof of address, such as a government issued ID with your current address.
  • Your income and rent information.
  • You’ll find more information on the application and a list of available community partners who can help with the application.
  • Your landlord will then need to complete a separate part of the application, with information such as your lease. IHDA will contact your landlord via e-mail to obtain their assistance.

It should be noted that an application is not a guarantee of assistance. It is expected that there will be more applicants than the program is funded for, so not everyone who applies will necessarily receive rent assistance. Only one application per household is permitted.

Information on Assistance for Homeowners

In addition to the emergency rental assistance program, there will soon be a program to assist property owners as well. Starting August 24th, homeowners who have experienced a loss of income because of the pandemic can apply for mortgage assistance. The one-time (tax-free) grant of $10,000 is payable directly to your mortgage company and can cover missed mortgage payments from March 1st, 2020 through the end of the year. More information will be available on this related program for homeowners at a later time through the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Other Assistance for Seniors

In addition to help to pay your rent, the state and its partners have developed additional programs and extended existing programs in this unprecedented emergency. For example, seniors who need help with utility bills can find help through Help Illinois Families, which administers several programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Other programs that are part of the  Help Illinois Families initiative can assist with food, water/sewer payments, financial management, employment/job training, and more. Even if you haven’t qualified for these programs in the past, eligibility requirements are changing due to the pandemic.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has also compiled some additional resources for those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From food pantries to legal assistance, the agency has published a list of important resources where seniors can go for assistance.

Homecare Powered by AUAF is Here to Help Seniors

And as always, seniors who want to remain living in their home and who need assistance with everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, medication reminders and light housekeeping can find care through Homecare Powered by AUAF. In this time of crisis, we remain committed to delivering the best quality home care to you and your loved ones. Contact us at info@homecare-aid.com, or over the phone at 773.274.9262 to find out how Homecare Powered by AUAF can help meet your needs.


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Home Care Powered by AUAF is located in Lincolnwood, IL and serves clients throughout northern Illinois including:   Albany Park, Chicago   •   Arlington Heights   •   Barrington   •   Bloomingdale   •   Evanston   •   Hoffman Estates   •   Irving Park, Chicago   •   Lincolnwood   •   Morton Grove   •   Mount Prospect   •   Niles   •   Palatine   •   Rogers Park, Chicago   •   Roselle   •   Schaumburg   •   Skokie   •   South Barrington   •   Streamwood   •   Uptown, Chicago   •   West Ridge, Chicago.