Illinois Supreme Court Announces $60 Million Court-Based Rental Assistance Program
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today the impending launch of a Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP) available to tenants and landlords across the state (outside of Cook County) starting on September 15. Cook County will be operating its own court-based rental assistance program slated to launch in early October with direct funding from the federal government.
The Illinois Department of Housing (IDHS) has allocated approximately $60 million to the CBRAP, which is only available to litigants in eviction court. Litigants may qualify for up to 12 months of past due rent and 3 months of future rent to prevent eviction and homelessness.
Unlike other rental assistance programs, the CBRAP will allow for expedited processing and will have a designated phone number for individual court employees to call and ask questions about the court-based program. It is intended that this program will act as a safety net for litigants who are on the brink of eviction. As a condition of receiving rental assistance (from the CBRAP as well as the other rental assistance programs), landlords agree not to evict the tenant for nonpayment of the rent that is repaid.
Additionally, new Order M.R. 30370 requires all summons issued in residential eviction cases to include an attached notice regarding the CBRAP. The new order and its attached notice can be found here.
The Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force) recommended the order and notice for the court-based rental assistance program to the Court. The Task Force has worked with the Governor’s office as well as agency representatives from the IDHS and Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to aid in the distribution of rental assistance while avoiding evictions. The Chair of the Task Force is J. Timothy Eaton, Partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, and the Vice Chair is Chief Judge Eugene Doherty of the 17th Circuit.