COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
In response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local organizations are distributing federal rental assistance in their communities. The money can help landlords and renters who are struggling to keep up with rent and other bills. Many programs take applications from both landlords and renters. Use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s tool to find the most up-to-date information on local rental assistance programs.
Learn more about the State of Illinois, Cook County, and City of Chicago COVID-19 rental assistance programs, including eligibility requirements and documents you will need to apply.
|Program||Program Status||Communities Served||Program Information|
|Illinois Rental Assistance Program||Open||State of Illinois||Apply by contacting an IDHS Service Provider Agency in your area or call the IDHS Help Line at (866) 454-3571 / Hearing Or Speech Impaired Hotline at 1-866-324-5553. Information on IDHS and IHDA programs, as well as utility assistance, legal aid, and other supportive services.|
|Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP)||Open||State of Illinois (not Cook County)||Apply online. Rental assistance for households facing eviction. See this toolkit for more information. For application assistance, contact IHDA’s call center at (866) 454-3571 to connect with a Housing Stability Service Provider.|
|Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)||Open||Chicago||Apply online or call (833) 543-0931. Available to Chicago renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Or call a City of Chicago delegate agency.|
|Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Open
October 4 to October 29
|Suburban Cook County (not Chicago)||Apply online. Serving renters and landlords in Suburban Cook County. If you have questions or need help with your application, call (833) 221-9821.|
|Champaign County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA)||Open||Champaign County||To apply, complete application form and then mail/drop-off at the Brookens Administrative Center. If you have questions, contact the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission at (217) 328-3313.|
|Lake County Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (FERA)||Open||Lake County||Apply online. FERA provides rent and utility assistance for eligible households financially impacted by COVID-19. For questions or help with your applications, call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 899211. You can also email EmergencyAssistance@LakeCountyHA.org.|
|Madison County Rent & Mortgage Assistance||Open||Madison County||Apply at an intake site or return application to Madison County Community Development. If you have questions, call the Madison County Community Resource Line at (618) 296-5300.|
|McHenry County Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance Program||Open||McHenry County||Apply online. Check if you qualify for emergency assistance online, or by calling (815) 338-7752 or emailing email@example.com.|
|Winnebago County Rental Help (WCERA)||Open
October 1 to October 15
November 1 to November 15
|Winnebago County||Apply online or by calling (815) 972-7368 and choose option #3. If you have questions or need more information, please call (815) 972-7368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP)||Closed||State of Illinois||You may check the status of your application at ilrpp.ihda.org/status. More information and FAQs are available online. Contact IHDA’s ILRPP call center at (866) 454-3571 to connect with a Housing Stability Service Provider or email email@example.com|
Other Rental Assistance Programs
- Community Action Agencies - Community Action Agencies across the State provide a variety of services, including but not limited to, Rental/Mortgage Assistance, Food, Energy Utility Bill Assistance, Water/Sewer Payment, Employment Training/Placement, Financial Management, and Temporary Shelter.
- Help Illinois Families - Programs for eligible Illinoisans seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.
- Illinois Department of Human Services - Call “Help is Here” at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343) and be connected to the Homeless Prevention Program, which provides rental/mortgage assistance, and utility assistance to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. You can also be connected with food, medical, shelter, recovery, and other resources.
- 211 - Call 2-1-1 to be connected to local health and human service assistance.
Local tenant rights, laws and protections - Find information about landlord-tenant issues, your rights and responsibilities, and resources across Illinois, including eviction prevention programs such as:
- Eviction Help Illinois or (855) 621-0811
- Cook County Legal Aid for Housing & Debt (Chicago & Cook County) or (855) 956-5763
- Chicago.gov/eviction or (312) 742-7368
- VA Assistance to Help Avoid Eviction or (877) 424-3838
HUD-assisted and affordable apartments
HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. To apply, contact or visit the management office of each apartment building that interests you.
Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)
To apply for either type of help, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).
Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one PHA. Your PHA can also give you a list of locations at which your voucher can be used.
Other Illinois Resources
If you believe your rights may have been violated or are a victim of housing discrimination, we encourage you to submit a complaint. Because there are time limits on when a complaint can be filed with HUD after an alleged violation, you should submit a complaint as soon as possible. You may file a complaint online, call us toll-free at (800) 669-9777 or (800) 877-8339, or email ComplaintsOffice05@hud.gov.