CHICAGO (WAND) - Homeowners who need help with mortgage payments and housing expenses during the pandemic can apply for help as part of a $309 million assistance program. 

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) said the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) will open on April 11, 2022. Eligible households can apply to receive as much as $30,000 in free assistance. 

Those funds can be used to pay past due mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance and delinquent homeowner and/or condo association fees. 

“Illinois was the fastest state in the nation to respond to the housing crisis brought on by the pandemic, and with the need still high, we’re building on that legacy of leadership in 2022,” said Pritzker. “Another $309 million to struggling mortgage owners in their homes is going out the door this spring. A good life, a good job, the ability to focus in a classroom — it all starts with a roof over your head. And that’s what every Illinoisan deserves.”

People who live in communities disproportionately impacted by the health and economic effects of the pandemic will be prioritized in assistance distribution.

IHDA partnered with organizations across Illinois to help homeowners in hard-hit communities apply for and receive their fair share of support. Technical assistance is offered free of charge and can be accessed in over 37 languages, including American Sign Language. Click here if you are a homeowner who needs help preparing an application, or call (866)454-3571 to speak with an ILHAF program partner. 

Homeowners can take important steps today to prepare to apply for ILHAF help. They should speak with an HUD-certified housing counselor or talk to their mortgage servicer about mitigation options as soon as they can. To be eligible to apply, a homeowner needs a certificate from an HUD-certified housing counselor or a letter from a mortgage servicer, which details efforts to resolve delinquency. 

Homeowners also must have experienced a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost income or increased expenses, on or after Jan. 21, 2020. They must currently own and occupy their home in Illinois as their primary residence and must be at least 30 days late on their mortgage or other homeowner expenses. Their household income must be at or below 150 percent of the area median income. 

Homeowners need to have the following documentation ready: 

  • Proof of identification, including but not limited to a driver’s license, state ID, permanent residency card or other form of ID.
  • Proof of household income, including but not limited to tax returns, pay stubs, or other documentation.
  • Proof of occupancy, including but not limited to a bank statement, cell phone bill, credit/debit card statement, or other documentation.
  • Proof of ownership, including but not limited to a property tax bill, property deed, or other documentation.
  • Delinquency statement, including but not limited to a mortgage statement, property tax statement, insurance statement, or HOA/Condo Association statement.

To learn more information on eligibility and how to apply, click here. The state will be accepting applications until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

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