Help is on the way for struggling suburban Cook County residents and their landlords.
The county will steer $73 million in federal funding to help residents pay for up to 12 months of back-rent and utility charges, and three months of future rent, according to Crain’s. Those payments will go straight to landlords.
The rental assistance is almost three times as much the previous amount provided to the county. Residents must earn less than 80 percent of the area median income to qualify, and each household can receive a maximum of $15,000.
Cook County Housing Authority will oversee the funding. Executive Director Rich Monocchio called the amount “life-changing for the families who need it.”
The program is not tied to the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill that Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed on Thursday afternoon. Under that measure, called the American Rescue Plan, Cook County could receive nearly $1 billion, Crain’s reported, citing County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Chicago and suburban renters and homeowners have received other pandemic grants and funding assistance over the last year. In late July, Chicago announced it would provide a combined $33 million to renters and homeowners struggling to prevent eviction and foreclosure. That followed a similar Covid-related housing assistance program in early April, which awarded a total of $2 million.
[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman