• 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.

    Renter households that are extremely low income
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Brooke Schipporeit

    Brooke Schipporeit

    202.662.1530 x233 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Housing Action Illinois

    67 East Madison Street, Suite 1603

    Chicago, IL 60603

    P 312-939-6074

    F 312-939-6822

    Sharon Legenza, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Bob Palmer, Policy Director

    [email protected]

    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]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF 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.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Bob Palmer

    Policy Director

    Housing Action Illinois

    312-939-6074 ext. 206

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Audra Hamernik

    Executive Director

    Illinois Housing Development Authority


    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Melinda Koening

    Assistant Director

    Strategic Planning and Reporting Dept.

    (o) 312-836-5328, (m) 312-636-7765

    [email protected]

    State Entity Webpage

    Illinois Housing Development Authority

  • Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Illinois (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Illinois (PDF)

    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

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Illinois and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Illinois and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    The final FY21 state budget includes $396 million in COVID-19-related rent and mortgage assistance. The funding comes from the State of Illinois’ portion of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and will benefit those impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Subordinate “gap” financing to complete affordable housing development projects is also an allowable use of the funds. The funds, which can be used for costs incurred between March 1 and December 30 of 2020, were appropriated to the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    Many cities and states are establishing rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. This tracker links to news reports of various city, state and philanthropic rental assistance programs that are being established during the pandemic. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of rental assistance.

    Updated on July 27, 2020.

    ChicagoMayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Housing (DOH) today announced the creation of a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant program to assist Chicagoans who have lost their jobs or otherwise been impacted by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Made possible by a partnership with the Family Independence Initiative (FII), DOH will deploy $2 million from the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund (AHOF) to fund one-time grants to help impacted Chicagoans with rent and mortgage payments.
    Cook CountyThe county will implement the Cook County Rental Assistance Program to provide $20 M in rental assistance payments for residents financially impacted by COVID-19, either for past due payments or upcoming payments. Payments made under this program will be made directly to the landlord.

    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.

    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.

    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 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. 

    June 21

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency?

    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.