For the first time in 18 months, Illinois landlords have given the go-ahead to evicting tenants who are behind on their rent, but people who still need help can still get help.
Bob Glaves, executive director of the Chicago Bar Foundation, said the Illinois Supreme Court established the Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP) to help tenants and landlords stave off impending evictions. The CBRAP is intended for people who have been harmed by the pandemic. It’s an 11-hour rescue operation for people facing an eviction who haven’t received emergency government funds to repay their rent.
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Approximately $ 60 million was allocated to the program from the Illinois Department of Housing (IDHS).
Glaves advises people not to give up. Resources remain available to help landlords get paid and keep renters inside their homes if they are about to be evicted due to COVID hardship, he said.
“Nobody wins, including the landlord, when the sheriff has to go out and evict someone,” said Glaves. “It takes a lot of time. It is traumatic for everyone affected. And it is not good for the communities.”
Since 2020, IDHS, the Illinois Housing Agency, and housing advocates have been working to prevent a Great Recession-type scenario – like the 2008 and 2009 – that resulted in tens of thousands of people being displaced and foreclosed.
CPRAP is an intervention program for people on trial who may be eligible for federal and state funding to help them stay in their homes.
The efforts are aimed at people who are about to be evicted.
“The aim is to put together an accelerated process that can make a faster decision: ‘Is rental support an option here? And we can connect people to it faster, ‘”said Glaves.
Cook County and several other communities will have people in zoom rooms in courthouses who can help eligible tenants and landlords determine on-site whether they qualify for access to government funds. Courts across the state will be able to communicate with program representatives.
Glaves hopes people don’t wait for their case to go to court before seeking help.
“We don’t want people to go to court to get rent allowance,” Glaves said. “Help is out there. People shouldn’t give up. If you can apply for rent allowance before the eviction process begins, this is the way to go. ”
The Cook County’s legal assistance hotline for housing and debt is 855 956-5763. Online, go to Cook County Legal Counsel. Outside Cook County, landlords and renters can contact the IHDA call center at 1-866-IL-HELP1 (454-3571) to connect with an available HSS agency. For a list of Illinois Housing Stability Service Providers (HSS) in municipalities across the state, visit HSS provider .
Renters can find a local housing partner at illinoisrentalassistance.org/providers.