Homelessness Prevention Update

The passage of the $1.6 trillion stimulus bill provides people at risk of homelessness with infusions of cash to pay rent, including $1400 stimulus checks and a continuation of $300 supplements to unemployment benefits. The bill does not extend the CDC eviction moratorium, which expires at the end of the month (Illinois’ moratorium stretches three days longer until April 3). After the moratoria expire, unpaid rents—an estimated $483 – $836 million in Illinois—come due, and landlords[1] can immediately begin evictions, which could affect 30 – 50 percent of Illinois renters.

BEDS offers Prevention and Stabilization services to help households at imminent risk of homelessness remain in their homes. Briefly, our Homeless Prevention program provides financial assistance and case management to households at imminent risk of homelessness. Our Diversion program develops innovative solutions to keep individuals and families out of shelters, and our Short-Term Stabilization program connects households with intensive case management and community resources.

We will also continue to help vulnerable households apply to government rental assistance programs. The key ongoing initiative is:

  • The Cook County Emergency Rental Assistance Program - The Cook County Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched March 11 and will remain open until April 2. It pays up to 12 months of missed rent and utility bills, as well as up to 3 months of future rent. Payments go directly to landlords and utility companies.

Click here  to help keep vulnerable individuals and families in housing.

[1] Important disclaimer: It’s easy to see evictions in black and white, but landlords are not moustache twirling, silent movie villains who delight in throwing people out in the cold. During the pandemic, many showed “compassion towards renters” and worked with them on rental deferral and repayment plans. At the same time, they rely on rental income to pay mortgages, loans, and day-to-day expenses. Smaller, often Black and Hispanic, landlords face foreclosures and asset seizures (after being more likely to support tenants).