An Illinois Housing Development Authority program opening today is designed provide to as many as 30,000 households who’ve lost income because of the coronavirus pandemic with up to $5,000 in aid to help pay their rent.

Applications for the program are available online.

Kristin Faust, the development authority’s executive director, told St. Louis Public Radio, “This is an opportunity to help stabilize people, to help keep renters in their apartments,” she said. “Help keep everyone at home, which is what we’re supposed to be doing at this time of COVID anyway.”

“We think $5,000 will really help cover rent for most of March through December because a lot of people have been able to make some partial rent payments, but it’s going to be different for each person,” she said.

State Sen. Laura Fine, who represents a portion of Evanston, says that while the program application deadline is planned to be Aug. 21, “it may close earlier if IHDA receives an overwhelming number of applications, so apply as early as you possibly can.”

The program is limited to persons with household incomes of up to 80% of the area median and who were up to date on their rent as of the end of February.

A similar program to provide mortgage assistance is scheduled to launch on Aug. 24.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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