SPRINGFIELD – The state reopened a mortgage assistance program for pandemic-impacted homeowners on Nov. 1.
The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund, run through the Illinois Housing Development Authority, provides up to $30,000 in assistance to homeowners through payments made directly to mortgage servicers, taxing bodies or other approved entities.
The program is funded through an appropriation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and can be used for past-due mortgage payments and up to three months of future payments. The funding can also be used for delinquent property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, condominium or homeowner association fees, and mobile home lot rent.
Funds received do not need to be repaid.
More information is available at illinoishousinghelp.org/ilhaf, and the application portal will be open from Nov. 1 through the end of January 2023.
“The state of Illinois is committed to ensuring that homeowners who are struggling due to this terrible pandemic can stay in their home,” IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said in a news release. “We designed the ILHAF program to ensure the most vulnerable households are prioritized in order to stave off foreclosure to ensure they are given the opportunity to become current on their monthly housing expenses.”
To qualify, Illinois homeowners must:
- Have experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020, or a hardship that began before that date and continued afterward.
- Currently own and occupy the home in the state as their primary residence.
- Be at least 30 days late on their monthly housing payment.
- Have a household income at or below 150 percent of the area median income.
- Be able to demonstrate they have either communicated with their mortgage provider about their inability to pay or sought counseling with a federally approved counseling organization.
Individuals who participated in a previous round of mortgage assistance may apply again in the upcoming round, but the maximum amount a person can receive is $30,000 cumulatively.
As of Sept. 22, the state had approved $20.5 million in assistance through the program with 1,840 approved applications, according to IHDA. The average assistance amounted to $12,732 per household. Another 3,721 applications had been submitted to the servicer, 1,485 were under review, and 6,948 had been denied.
IHDA and its housing partners will hold information sessions on the program, and a schedule is posted online at illinoishousinghelp.org. Information can also be obtained by contacting the ILHAF hotline at 1-866-454-3571.