The State of Illinois’ moratorium on COVID-related evictions ended October 3 but renters still have options. For anyone worried about remaining in their home because of an inability to pay rent, the City of Chicago is reminding renters there are resources available to help them stay safely housed.
Financial assistance is still available and tenants may qualify for up to 15 months of rent payments, in addition to utility payment assistance. Residents can visit chicago.gov/renthelp to apply, and check the status of an application for rental assistance submitted in the summer.
Through a partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, renters can receive free legal and mitigation assistance to prevent being evicted. The hotline, Rentervention, is free and confidential, and tenants can call 312-347-7600, visit rentervention.com or text “hi” to 866-7RENTER (866-773-6837) to start a conversation with Renny, Rentervention’s bot.
The Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) offers free legal help, mediation, and connections to other resources including rental assistance. To learn more, call 855-956-5763 or visit https://cookcountylegalaid.org.
Under the COVID-19 Evictions Protection Ordinance, landlords filing evictions due to nonpayment of rent against tenants who have coronavirus-related financial hardships, must wait for a seven-day “cooling-off” period in addition to the regular five-day notice period. After the “cooling-off” period, landlords must show the court that they have engaged in good faith efforts to reach a reasonable alternative to eviction, including mediation, payment plans or other options before an eviction can proceed.