- State Data Overview
Across Illinois, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.KeyFacts442,175Or27%Renter households that are extremely low income$26,120Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)-268,089Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters$44,310Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.68%Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
- State Level Partners
Become an NLIHC State Partner
NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.
Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]
- Housing Trust FundHTF Implementation Information
NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Brooke Schipporeit with any questions.Current Year HTF Allocation
$8,575,518HTF State Resources
HTF Allocation Plan (PDF)
State Housing Profile
Congressional District Housing Profile
Research and Data
National Housing Preservation Database
The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.
Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
- Take Action
- COVID-19 ResourcesCOVID-19 Resources
In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.
You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected].
Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.
Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:
Washington Street Mission in Springfield, which offers coffee, laundry and shower facilities, announced it is closing temporarily. St. John’s Breadline decided to hand out bagged lunches, instead of serving meals.
DuPagePads closed all Interim (Overnight) Housing shelter sites beginning Saturday, March 21.
Advocates are encouraging Illinois residents to urge their legislators to support the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act. The bill would help ensure that people with the most severe needs can access federal emergency rental assistance, seal eviction cases filed during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery period, expand access to sealing prior eviction records, and temporarily halt certain foreclosure proceedings.
A bill that would have made exceptions to Illinois' eviction moratorium failed to pass out of committee on March 10. State Representative Charlie Meier, who introduced the bill, told the House committee he wants to go after so-called “bad actors” who receive federal rental assistance but do not pay their rent. State Representative Will Guzzardi took issue with the bill, noting that federal rental assistance funds were sent to landlords and not to the tenants. “I believe that this bill may be attempting to solve a problem that is not, in fact, happening,” said Representative Guzzardi.
Updated on March 31, 2021
During their first meeting, the Illinois House Affordable Housing Committee dove into data about the number of Illinois households struggling to remain in their homes during the pandemic. NLIHC reports 200,000-500,000 Illinois households are at risk of eviction and homelessness. Bob Palmer, executive director for Housing Action Illinois, offered several policy recommendations for addressing the affordable housing crisis.
Updated on March 08, 2021
Despite state and federal eviction moratoriums, Chicago housing advocates continue to receive calls from renters facing illegal evictions or tactics designed to force them from their homes. The Metropolitan Tenants Organization has received more than 500 calls since last March about illegal lockout attempts.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced two new temporary orders and one amended order concerning evictions and electronic signatures in Illinois courts. The orders, developed by a COVID-19 task force, address the anticipated wave of evictions when state and federal eviction moratoriums expire and improve access to justice for self-represented litigants.
Updated on March 01, 2021
An op-ed in the Chicago Tribune discusses why the Just Cause for Eviction ordinance should be part of Chicago’s housing policy solution to prevent the looming eviction crisis. The ordinance, backed by the Chicago Housing Justice League and supported by more than 64 community organizations, would end no-fault evictions and require landlords to pay relocation assistance to renters who are evicted for non-tenant-related reasons.
Updated on February 22, 2021
An op-ed in the Canton Daily Ledger outlines the steps policymakers must take to ensure families stay stably housed. Legislators must include comprehensive housing assistance in the next COVID-19 relief package, including funding for non-congregate shelters, increased street outreach, and efforts to move individuals and families into permanent housing.
Updated on December 9, 2020
While Evanston is taking steps to prevent the looming wave of evictions when state and federal moratoriums expire in December, the city’s top housing official, tenants’ rights advocates, and local nonprofit leaders are concerned about the size and scope of the impending crisis.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on November 13 he was extending a host of pandemic-related executive orders for another 30 days, including an extension of the state's eviction moratorium. Governor Pritzker changed the eviction moratorium to be closer to the federal moratorium. Under the new eviction moratorium, tenants must sign a form declaring that they meet certain qualifications.
Chicago homeless shelters are grappling with COVID-19 safety measures as colder temperatures creep in and coronavirus cases increase.
Updated on November 30, 2020
Governor J.B. Pritzker on October 16 announced he plans to extend Illinois’ eviction moratorium for another month. “Nothing really has changed in terms of the effect of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, its effect on people’s jobs and their ability, or inability, to pay their rent or mortgage,” said Governor Pritzker.
Updated on October 26, 2020
Housing experts expect to see a surge in homelessness in Chicago this winter, especially if Illinois does not extend the statewide eviction ban set to expire in late October. Chicago is allocating millions of dollars from the CARES Act to provide housing to more than 1,000 Chicagoans experiencing homelessness.
Updated on September 29, 2020
The Chicago Tribune reports that despite the federal moratorium, renters are still being pushed out of their homes with notices on doors and threats of lockouts.
Fox Illinois reports on the CDC’s eviction moratorium, highlighting NLIHC’s FAQ sheet and resources to help inform tenants about their rights under the moratorium and what steps they must take to be protected. "It provides essential protection for many struggling renters, but it doesn't take effect automatically," said NLIHC’s Diane Yentel about the federal moratorium.
Updated on September 22, 2020
Applications for Illinois’ rental assistance program have far exceeded the amount of assistance available, according to Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois, an NLIHC state partner. The CDC eviction moratorium has quelled the eviction tsunami, at least half a million households in Illinois are struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic.
Updated on September 15, 2020
Skokie officials voted unanimously on August 17 to allocate $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for rental assistance. The Evanston-based Connections for Homeless will distribute the rental assistance.
Updated on September 2, 2020.
Governor Pritzker J.B. Pritzker will extend Illinois’ eviction moratorium for another 30 days when the current executive order ends on August 22.
Tenants’ rights groups gathered in Chicago to demand that Governor J.B. Pritzker extend the state’s eviction moratorium, which was set to expire on August 22. Organizers with the Lift the Ban Coalition set up an encampment outside of the Richard J. Daley Center to symbolize the looming eviction crisis. Over one million Illinois residents may face eviction in the coming months.
Updated on August 25, 2020.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is launching an emergency rental assistance program to help people who have been impacted by the pandemic. The state has set aside $150 million in CARES Act funding for rent relief, which is expected to assist about 30,000 renters. The executive director of IHDA said that the agency anticipates receiving far more applications than the state can assist.
In June, Illinois ranked third in the nation for rent deferrals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 16-21 survey, 24% of Illinois renters deferred or did not pay rent for July. The state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on August 22, meaning landlords can move forward with evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent.
Cook County launched a rental assistance program to help residents behind on rent. Cook County will provide households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with up to $4,500 each. The $20 million program is expected to provide financial relief of up to three months of rent — or up to $4,500 — to as many as 7,000 suburban households.
Illinois renters who have been unable to pay their rent due to coronavirus-related financial difficulty can apply for one-time grants of $5,000 through a new state program, and relief for homeowners is next. The state will give $300 million in rent and mortgage grants this fall to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, offering one-time grants of $5,000 for tenants and $15,000 for homeowners. The programs, administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, are funded through federal money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed earlier this year.
Updated on August 19, 2020.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority will launch a new rental assistance program that could help approximately 30,000 tenants struggling to keep a roof over their heads. IHDA is opening Monday for $5,000 grants to catch up on payments since March or cover payments through December.
The city of Aurora’s Innovation Department has established the Aurora Rental Assistance Program and is funded with $500,000 of federal money. Across the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued an eviction moratorium, which began in March and has been extended through Aug. 22.
Updated on August 11, 2020.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on July 27 announced an expanded Housing Assistance Grant program and a new online portal to help people adversely impacted by the pandemic’s economic fallout. The new round of aid includes more than $33 million in rental assistance and eviction counseling. Of the total amount, $20 million will be from the state’s allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Connections for the Homeless has placed more than 200 individuals experiencing homelessness, including about 50 children, in an Evanston hotel during the pandemic. The organization has added a 27-person Coronavirus Response Team to provide critical services, such as moving people temporarily residing in the hotel into permanent housing. Connections for the Homeless has helped move 30 people into permanent housing since March.
Updated on August 4, 2020.
The Telegraph editorial board examined how the pandemic is revealing the urgency of addressing our country’s housing and homelessness crisis.
The Cook County Board on July 16 approved a resolution that will use an “equitable funding formula” with a heavy emphasis on economically disinvested areas to distribute $51 million of CARES Act funds among municipalities to reimburse direct costs incurred while responding to the pandemic. Board commissioners sent a second resolution to the Finance Committee that would allocate nearly $82 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to support local businesses, assist renters, and fund hotels providing shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
Updated on July 28, 2020.
An article in One Illinois highlights NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2020 report and discusses how the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout have exacerbated the dire housing crisis in Illinois and across the country.
“Even before the pandemic, far too many families in Illinois were making impossible decisions between paying rent and basic necessities like food and medicine. Now, with decreased work hours, furloughs, and job losses from an ongoing public health crisis, they’re in an even tough situation. We’re going to see a wave of evictions and a spike in homelessness unless more rental assistance dollars are made available,” said Sharon Legenza, executive director of Housing Action Illinois, an NLIHC state partner.
Updated on July 20, 2020.
COVID-19 is pushing Covenant House Illinois, a Chicago shelter that serves teens experiencing homelessness, to capacity. The number of individuals served has increased by about 50% amid the pandemic.
Although a bill to cancel rent and mortgage payments statewide for 180 days failed to advance, Illinois state lawmakers increased the amount of funds available to tenants and landlords in a relief fund by nearly 90%. Landlords and tenants can apply for a portion of the $396 million fund, which will be administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
The Illinois legislature will vote on a bill that would cancel tenant rent debt, compensate landlords for canceled rent payments, suspend mortgages, and other provisions. The bill, “Covid-19 Emergency and Economic Recovery Renter and Homeowner Protection Act,” would be in effect until Illinois’ unemployment rate returns to its pre-pandemic levels and Governor Pritzker’s disaster declaration has expired.
Edgewater’s Broadway Armory has been converted into a temporary shelter as city officials work to alleviate crowding at existing shelters. The facility is one of five emergency shelters that have opened in Chicago to protect people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
Housing Action Illinois, an NLIHC state partner, released a blog post discussing the importance of how advocates frame their requests for additional affordable housing and homelessness resources amid the pandemic. The blog post includes messaging that members, partners, and allies may find helpful to adopt or adapt.
Organizations in McHenry County are working to protect people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, making adjustments to their operations to adhere to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and orders from the governor.
The founder of a South Side nonprofit organization, her husband, and volunteers have been driving around Chicago, distributing food, masks, gloves, and sanitizer to vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness.
The coronavirus has exacerbated Chicago’s affordable housing crisis. The city is making efforts to address the crisis, but Chicago’s renters and owners need significant support from the federal government.
Advocates urged the Chicago Housing Authority to open its 2,042 vacant units to people experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic.
Housing Action Illinois has received $340,000 through NLIHC and the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to distribute to partners throughout the state who are addressing the urgent COVID-19-related needs of people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless.
Increased COVID-19 testing in Chicago homeless shelters has indicated varying levels of infection. At some shelters, half of staff and residents tested positive for the coronavirus.
A doctor who is working with Chicago’s homeless shelters to contain the spread of COVID-19 warned that outbreaks at the shelters will soon overwhelm the city’s capacity to care for people experiencing homelessness who contract the disease.
Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-4) and more than two dozen public health experts and elected officials launched the Illinois Latino COVID-19 Initiative, which seeks to improve outreach about the coronavirus to the state’s Latino communities. Latinos comprise 60% of the population in the ten zip codes in Illinois with the fastest growing number of new cases.
A Chicago homeless shelter, A Safe Haven, opened a 100-bed isolated shelter for COVID-19 patients experiencing homelessness. Rush University Medical center and Heartland Alliance will provide medical and behavioral health care.
Approximately 83,000 Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic applied for $1,000 grants to help them pay their rent or mortgages. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced funding 2,000 grants with $2 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, which is fueled by the fees paid by developers under the Affordable Requirements Ordinance. The overwhelming demand for the grants means that fewer that 2.5 percent of applicants will get the funds.
The Lake County Board this week voted to set aside $100,000 to cover emergency shelter expenses incurred because of the health crisis. The money will come from a fund for video gambling revenue that usually bankrolls grants for mental health programs.
In Lake County, shelter sites have closed and instead they are housing clients individually in hotels and motels. About 100 clients are being served that way now. The agency is using vouchers to cover the costs, but expenses are mounting rapidly.
The state of Illinois is moving the approximately 200 residents of the Aurora homeless shelter into a suburban hotel in an attempt to contain the outbreak. This is the second largest homeless shelter in the state and they will be the first to make such a move, and will likely “serve as a model” as other shelters in Illinois make similar transfers.
Seasonal emergency shelter availability in Champaign County, Illinois will now be extended through at least April 30, thanks to additional funding, the Emergency Lodging Fund, authorized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that despite the eviction ban, some Chicago landlords are using illegal lockouts and other threats to push out tenants. Advocates are concerned that this is a sign that legal eviction filings will surge once Chicago’s housing court reopens.
A Chicago Sun-Times editorial urges that federal intervention is necessary to prevent a tsunami of evictions, given the national scope of the issue and the limited ability of local governments to assist without unsettling market forces in ways that may make the situation worse.
Updated on June 22, 2020.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed a plan that would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19 without first trying to negotiate with them. The City Council’s Housing Committee will likely approve the plan on June 15, followed by a full Council vote on June 17.
Chicago proposed spending nearly $40 million in federal CARES Act funding toward homelessness services, including prevention strategies and emergency rental assistance. The city earmarked $15.7 million for 1,250 ‘shield housing’ units to protect older or medically vulnerable people experiencing homelessness. Advocates argue that additional rental units, at least 500 more than the city’s proposal, are needed to protect Chicagoans experiencing homelessness. The Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity released a report on developing effective cross-sector partnerships to address the pandemic among people experiencing homelessness and housing instability.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
The Chicago City Council approved a program to use $3 million from the Affordable Requirements Ordinance to establish a new program called the Emergency Relief for Affordable Multifamily Properties Program (ERAMP). New ERAMP grants will protect Chicago’s network of multifamily housing developments and tenants during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
A Chicago shelter, Franciscan Outreach, experienced its first major outbreak of the coronavirus, with 19 individuals out of 80 testing positive for the virus. The executive director of Franciscan Outreach commended the city’s efforts to provide temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness and expressed the need for permanent housing solutions.
A Chicago hotel has been converted into a temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness, currently housing 163 people experiencing homelessness. The medical director of mobile health for Lawndale Christian Health Center said that the biggest challenge is finding permanent housing for the guests.
Chicago advocates are working to ensure that housing and homelessness are prioritized in the city and state’s response to COVID-19 but are frustrated by the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) slow response. Reports from the CHA show that there are 372 vacant public housing units ready for immediate occupancy and an additional 797 units that have recently become vacant.
The City of Chicago will be partnering with five hotels to house quarantined and isolated individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the Chicago Housing Authority will defer rent for thousands of tenants living in Chicago Public Housing as long as the state’s stay at home order remains in effect. It is also launching a rental assistance program.
Chicago has opened up five additional homeless shelters to house individuals experiencing homelessness in the city. The shelter will house non-COVID-19-positive and non-vulnerable individuals – those that are positive or vulnerable will be housed in hotel rooms.
Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.
In June, Illinois ranked third in the nation for rent deferrals. Statewide, 24% of Illinois renters deferred or did not pay rent for July, according to the bureau’s July 16-21 survey, part of its weekly look at the impact of COVID-19 on the nation. The state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire Aug. 22, meaning landlords can move forward with evicting tenants for nonpayment.
Updated: August 12
On July 22, Governor extended eviction moratorium until Aug. 22. Utilities disconnections suspended until August 1.
Updated on August 1, 2020.
In the third week of July, 27.9% of adults in Illinois reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 44,583 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.
Updated: July 29
According to a weekly survey by the Census, 1 in 4 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.
Requests for eviction assistance have doubled in Chicago, compared to last year.
Updated: July 16COVID-19 Resources Other
What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d
Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb