President Preckwinkle Extends Application Deadline for $73 Million Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program

Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) announced the extension of the application deadline for the Cook County Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance program. Effective today, applications will be accepted through Friday, April 9, at 5:00 pmThe extension decision was made based on the need for additional technical support requested by applicants and housing agencies administering the program.

"Applicants who don’t have access to computers and rely heavily on smart phones need more time to gather documents needed to complete the application process," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. "It is critical that we provide a fair chance for residents to take advantage of these critical supports and we believe no one should be left behind due to a digital divide."

The launch of a $73 million emergency rental assistance program is part of the County's ongoing efforts through the Community Recovery Initiative to provide financial relief to renters and landlords impacted during the pandemic. Applicants will have an opportunity to apply to receive up to 12 months of rent and assistance with one utility bill. Payments will be made directly to landlords on behalf of tenants.

The funding will be available to renter households with incomes under 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) who have unpaid rent balances charged during the pandemic, qualify for unemployment, have experienced a reduction in household income, or demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability. Preference will be given to households at or below 50% AMI or households with an individual unemployed for the 90 days prior to application. Recipients cannot be a participant in federally-funded Public Housing, project-based Rental Assistance, or Housing Choice Voucher programs. 

Residents can review their eligibility and apply for rental assistance at www.cookcountyil.gov/recoveryThe application period opened March 11 and will close on April 9. Applications are available through the online portal in many languages including Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, and Hindi.

The Rental Assistance program is a part of Cook County’s COVID-19 Recovery Initiative, which has provided $72 million in CARES funding to support housing, shelter, food, small business, and cash assistance supports.

Download the overview and Frequently Asked Questions in English, Spanish or Polish by visiting https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/covid-19-recovery-rental-assistance-program.  To receive updates on COVID-19 via text message, text ALERTCOOK to 888-777.