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Financial aid still available for struggling Illinois homeowners

Financial assistance is still available for low-income homeowners struggling throughout the...
Financial assistance is still available for low-income homeowners struggling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (WGEM) - People struggling to pay their mortgage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic still have an opportunity to apply for financial assistance from the Pritzker administration.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has $309 million to help those most in need. IHDA can provide up to $30,000 to homeowners who have fallen behind on home payments over the past two years.

You could use the money to help pay past-due mortgage payments, property taxes, home insurance, or condo association fees.

Gov. JB Pritzker said more than 5,000 people already applied for assistance this spring, but there is plenty of money left to help several thousand more.

“Housing stability is a crucial part of our economic recovery,” Pritzker said. “A good life, a good job, the ability for kids to focus in their classrooms - it all starts with having a roof over your head. And we know that especially for families of color, maintaining homeownership can be a way to a better path for you so build up personal assets and open up more doors for your children.”

To be eligible for the funding, homeowners must be at least 30 days behind on housing expenses and have an income at or below 150% of the area median income. That is equal to three times the income limit for very low-income families for the relevant household size under guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The state will prioritize homeowners in communities disproportionately impacted by the health and economic challenges of the pandemic.

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) led the charge for emergency housing relief last year that created over $1 billion in rental assistance.

“Now we’re doing the important work of making sure that our homeowners who have not been able to recover economically have the resources they need to make sure that they maintain that home they worked so hard to have,” said Ramirez. “As federal and state protections around foreclosure have come to an end, it is critical that we step in and support struggling homeowners and avert a foreclosure crisis that could further destabilize the housing market.”

Anyone applying for homeowner assistance could have a driver’s license, state ID, or permanent residency card for proof of identification. They will also need to show tax returns, pay stubs, or other documents to show proof of the household income. Bank statements, cell phone bills, and credit or debit card statements can be used to show proof of occupancy. Meanwhile, property tax bills or property deeds can be used as proof of ownership. The state will require a statement of delinquent payments for mortgage, property taxes, insurance, or condo association.

“We are here today to say housing help is here,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund is open. And we want your application today.”

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on May 31. You can find more information at illinoishousinghelp.org. You can also call 866-454-3571 to talk with an Illinois Housing Assistance Fund program partner.

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