COVID-19: COVID Rental Assistance

COVID-19: Information for Renters

Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance Programs and other resources for tenants affected by COVID-19.




COVID-19 Rent & Utility Assistance

There are three COVID-19 rental assistance programs available; a description of each program is listed below. If you need help submitting your application, need access to computer equipment, are unsure which program may be better for you, or if you have any other questions, please contact our Emergency Assistance Coordinator, Toni Martinez, at or by calling 847-263-7478 ext 30.

Lake County Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (FERA)

The FERA program offers up to 12 months of rent and utility assistance for eligible Lake County renters who were financially impacted by COVID-19 and earn less than the income limits posted below. There is no maximum dollar amount of assistance. Tenants should initiate the application. Payments are made directly to landlords and utility companies. Applications are processed and payments are issued on an ongoing, first-come, first-served basis. Program details and the application are available at . Within the application, you may select CPAH as the agency to help you process your application. Proof of citizenship is NOT required.

Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP)

The ILRPP provides rental assistance (no utility assistance) to eligible Illinois renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants whose application is approved will receive a one-time grant of up to $25,000 paid directly to their landlord to cover missed rent payments back to June 2020 and/or prepay payments through April 2022. Both landlords and tenants need to participate in the joint application process. To receive assistance, the household must (i) earn less than the income limits posted below, (ii) be behind on rent, and (iii) have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly related to the pandemic. Proof of citizenship is NOT required. The application period will only be open between December 6, 2021 through January 9, 2022. To apply, go to .

Illinois Supreme Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP)

The Illinois Supreme Court launched CBRAP on September 15, 2021 for litigants in eviction court who, in 2020, earned less than the income limits posted below. Tenants must be in a court-eviction proceeding and provide eviction court documentation. Tenants must have experienced a financial hardship (directly or indirectly) due to COVID-19 and must be behind on rent and/or at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Proof of citizenship is NOT required. Applicants may qualify for up to 12 months of past due rent and 3 months of future rent. As a condition for receiving rental assistance, landlords must agree not to evict the tenant for nonpayment of the rent that is repaid. Program details and the application are available at and in the Program Toolkit. Questions about the program can be directed to (866) ILHELP1 or .


Program Income Limits

Household Size
80% AMI

How to Submit Required Documentation

Required documentation can be submitted directly through the application portal(s) above. You may also submit documentation to CPAH by email, fax, mail and/or drop-off to our main office. If you submit your documentation via email, we strongly encourage you to submit your application through our Secure Message Center. Registration is free and takes less than a minute. Once registered, you can use the system to send encrypted information and emails to CPAH staff, which is a much safer way to electronically send personal information.


Tips for Renters

  • Slides from CPAH’s April 29, 2020 “Information for Renters” Presentation.
  • Landlords cannot show your apartment during the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation period.
  • If your income decreased as a result of COVID-19 and you currently receive a housing voucher or project-based housing subsidy, contact the program administrator right away to request an interim income re-certification to lower your rent contribution. Here is a sample letter requesting an interim re certification.
  • Contact your landlord early and often if you know that you will have trouble paying rent due to COVID-19. Here is a sample letter. Keep all communication with your landlord in writing whenever possible, especially any agreement to reduce or defer rent because of COVID-19.
  • Avoid cash payments without receipts.
  • Develop a realistic budget and attempt to develop a repayment plan with your landlord. CPAH’s HUD-Certified Housing Counselors offers free financial counseling and can help you with “Crisis Budgeting.”
  • When speaking with your landlord, utility companies and other lenders, consider asking the following questions:
    • When will you expect me to repay my missed payments?
    • Are payment plans available?
    • What fines and fees will I be subject to?
    • Will my outstanding balance accrue interest?
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission ordered that no utilities (gas, electricity, water and sewage) nor threats of shut-off are allowed during the period covered by the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation period.
  • If you’ve lost employment income, you can file for unemployment benefits at the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)