Eviction Moratorium Extended until May 29; Latest Round of Housing Assistance Coming?
UPDATED May 3, 2021 – While the eviction moratorium has been extended until May 29, housing providers may learn more about the launch of the latest round of relief money being distributed to landlords and tenants in the coming weeks.
The state is nearing its launch of the latest round of relief money distribution. The 2021 Illinois Rental Payment Program, funded by federal relief dollars, is expected to begin accepting applications this month.
The applications are not yet available, but the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has released some details on what to expect in terms of the eligibility requirements and documentation that will be required with the application. It is expected that eligible tenants/housing providers will be able to apply for up to $25,000 to help cover past due rent payments resulting from the COVID pandemic. Specific details on the program can be found on IHDA’s website.
As more people become vaccinated and unemployment assistance claims continue to fall, Governor Pritzker has indicated that he is reviewing the moratorium for any potential changes that he feels may be appropriate, but no changes were made in this latest round of Executive Orders. Illinois REALTORS® will continue to monitor and provide any updates if and when the situation changes.
Details of Illinois’ Moratorium on Evictions
In the latest Executive Order, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended his moratorium on evictions through May 29, 2021. The language of the moratorium remains unchanged from the previous month.
In addition to the state moratorium, the federal moratorium remains in place through the end of June. As a reminder, while both the state moratorium and federal moratorium remain in place the state moratorium should be followed in Illinois, as it is more restrictive than the federal moratorium.
Like his previous Executive Order, before serving tenants with a Notice of Termination of Tenancy, landlords must deliver to tenants a declaration that tenants may then execute and deliver back to landlords to trigger the protections of the moratorium. Under the declaration, the tenant states that:
- the individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment pursuant to Section 2001 of the CARES Act;
- the individual is unable to make a full rent or housing payment due to a COVID-19 related hardship including, but not limited to: substantial loss of income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses; and
- eviction would likely render the individual homeless – or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting – because the individual has no other available housing options.
Like the previous Executive Order, the most recent Executive Order, includes the procedure that landlords must follow when serving their tenants with the declaration. Landlords must provide the declaration to their tenants at least five days prior to the issuance of a notice of termination of tenancy. The service of this declaration must also now conform with the service requirements of 735 ILCS 5/9-211.
Like the previous Executive Order, the most recent Executive Order also includes a new separate class of tenants, specifically those tenants who do not owe rent, who will not be required to provide a declaration to their landlords in order to be protected by the moratorium. Section 7 states:
A person or entity may not commence a residential eviction action pursuant to or arising under 735 ILCS 5/9-101 et seq. against a tenant who does not owe rent unless the tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property. A tenant shall not be required to provide a declaration if they are covered by this section.