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Rental assistance coming for Will County residents

Rent, utility assistance to target hardest hit first

2/19/2021, 6 a.m.
The Will County Board on Thursday voted to begin negotiations with the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to coordinate Emergency ...
The United States Treasury granted $20.6 million to Will County for rental assistance.

The Will County Board on Thursday voted to begin negotiations with the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to coordinate Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) for individuals and families struggling to pay rent in Will County. The United States Treasury granted $20.6 million to Will County for rental assistance. The County will work with IHDA, which also received a grant from the federal government, so services are not duplicated and maximum relief is provided for residents. The ERA will provide direct financial assistance for rent and utilities.

"Countless residents have suffered great financial hardship during the COVID pandemic, and this type of direct housing aid can go a long way towards returning them to a sound financial footing," said Mimi Cowan, Speaker of the Will County Board.

The rental assistance will pay for up to nine months of back rent as well as three months of future rental expense. Minority Leader Mike Fricilone said the assistance was needed by landlords as much as tenants.

"Although renters owe the money to landlords, in many cases, it is the landlords who suffer most financially as they struggle to make mortgage payments and pay property taxes," Fricilone said. This "ERA money will help make them whole."

The assistance will target renter households under 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) for example, a family of four making $72,800 or less. Households below 50 percent of AMI and the long-term unemployed would be prioritized. Ninety percent of the funds the county received must be used for rent and utility assistance with only ten percent allowed for administrative costs and housing ability services.