More than $17.5 million in rental assistance provided
“The population of Will County has grown substantially over the last couple of decades, so the County Board was talking about housing before the pandemic shot a hole through the economy,” said Will County Board Speaker Mimi Cowan (Naperville). “When the layoffs started and businesses shut down, we knew we needed to act swiftly to stabilize the rental market both for tenants and landlords.”
As part of the pandemic relief plan, the United States Treasury granted $20.6 million to Will County for rental assistance. The County has worked closely with IHDA, which also received a grant from the federal government, so services would not be duplicated, and maximum relief would be provided for residents. The ERA provides direct financial assistance for rent and utilities.
“Landlords and renters alike have been helped by the ERA program,” said Minority Leader Mike Fricilone (Homer Glen). “The assistance we were able to provide because of our partnership with the state and the funding provided by the federal government is really incalculable because of the potential disaster that we averted.”
The ERA program provides up to nine months of back rent and three months of future rental expense. The assistance also helped landlords who have seen rents dry up even as the cost of maintaining their buildings continues.
“We delivered the help that we promised to renters in Will County,” said Majority Leader Meta Mueller (Aurora). “I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Board did to ensure that these funds kept people in their homes when their jobs and income had been threatened.”
Renter households under 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) were targeted for the ERA program, for example, a family of four making $72,800 or less. Among that group, households below 50 percent of AMI and the long-term unemployed were prioritized. Ninety percent of the funds the county received must be used for rent and utility assistance with only ten percent allowed for administrative costs and housing ability services.
Will County residents interested in assistance can apply for a COMEBACK Grant. Information about these grants can be found at www.willcountyillinois.org. Residents interested in housing stabilization grants can apply through one of the following local agencies:
- Community Services Council, In Joliet Or Bolingbrook, www.thecsc.org Or (815) 886-5000.
- Spanish Community Center in Joliet: www.spanishcenter.org or (815) 727-3683
- Will County Center for Community Concerns in Joliet: www.wcccc.net or (815) 722-0722
- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet www.catholiccharitiesjoliet.org (815) 774-4663