As eviction moratorium expires, Illinois residents have more rental assistance options
MADISON – Illinois residents have another way to get rental and utility assistance, like the state’s moratorium on evictions finished Sunday.
The Illinois Department of Social Services is distributing additional aid through faith-based organizations in underserved communities and those hardest hit by COVID-19.
“We have customers who requested rental assistance six months ago and got nothing,” said Yolanda Crochrell, executive director of the Quad City Community Development Center.
Faith-based organizations, like the one in Cochrell, have established relationships with their local communities and can often reach people in need faster than some government institutions, she said. The State Department of Social Services has indicated that requests will have a processing time of 10 to 14 days, Cochrell said.
Interest in additional help has at times been overwhelming, she said.
“Our phone rings without picking up,” Cochrell said.
The Madison Development Center began processing requests for help in early September and will continue to do so until June 2022, Cochrell said.
Eligible applicants must respond the low-income designation of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and provide valid ID, proof of employment by March 2020, and rental receipt or rental agreement.
Crochrell said that a single plaintiff can receive three months rent back and three months forward up to $ 25,000 from Illinois. Money can also help with all utilities except cable television.
The additional aid to Metro East will ease some of the burden of Madison County’s rental aid, Cochrell said.
“The county has launched a waiting list,” she said. “I think we’re going to take over their waiting list and help some of these people as well.”
Illinois residents who need help can call the Quad City Community Development Center to make an appointment at 618-876-4043.
Additional support for the community
The availability of additional rental and utility assistance coincides with other efforts by the Quad City Community Development Center to support residents of Madison and Venice, including a vaccination clinic.
The center also secured commercial washers and dryers with the help of two lawmakers from the Democratic state of Swansea, Representative Jay Hoffman. and Senator Chris Belt, for families who do not have access to reliable people.
Although this is a relatively small addition to the center, Belt explained how essential clean clothing can be for people in underserved communities, especially children.
“I understand how this negatively affects going to school,” he said. “No one wants to be ridiculed and ridiculed for not having clean clothes.”
The needs of the community of Madison and Venice are complex and require assistance from all parts of state and local government, Cochrell said.
“This is an important time right now when people need help, and if we can engage and help, that’s what we thrive on,” she said.
Eric Schmid covers Metro East for St. Louis Public Radio as part of the Journalism Fellowship Program: Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth project.