Illinois will phase out its moratorium on evictions starting in August, 18 months after it took effect, and the same time a federal ban ends.
Governor J.B. Pritzker said he plans to issue an executive order July 23 allowing eviction filings to begin on Aug. 1, but barring enforcement until Aug. 31. In a statement, the governor’s office urged tenants still unable to keep up with their rent to apply for rental assistance programs that have more than $2 billion in funding.
The deadline to apply for aid through the Illinois Rental Payment Program, which received $500 million in funding, is midnight July 18.
Pritzker said in May an additional $1.5 billion in housing assistance will be available in coming months.
After a year-and-a-half of eviction protection for tenants who lost income during the pandemic, the state is trying to cushion the impact of a return to evictions. For those who do get removed, the court records will remain sealed until the summer of 2022, to give them a chance to find a new apartment without the shadow of eviction hanging over them.
“Through a coordinated approach, we hope to relieve the potential pressure on the court system while also ensuring that tenants and landlords have every opportunity to benefit from the state’s rental assistance programs,” Pritzker said in a statement.
Grants are slated to cover back rents from July 2020 through June 2021, though rental assistance may also be available for eligible tenants for July, August and September of this year. The maximum grant amount is $25,000.
“Households behind on their rent or at risk of eviction shouldn’t wait to get help,” Kristin Faust, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said in a statement. “IHDA staff is working to award these funds as quickly as possible to households in need. Funding is still available.”
The state funding comes through the $25 billion earmarked for rental assistance programs at state and local levels that was part of the $900 billion stimulus relief bill Congress passed in December.
The Illinois Department of Human Services also has programs available with no deadline for rental assistance and eviction mediation and plans to reopen other federal funding sources in the fall with announcements in coming months.