Saturday, May 03, 2008
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Gov. Blagojevich launches the nation's largest state rental assistance program to provide long-term housing stability for extremely low-income residents

Rental Housing Support Program will assist 4,000 families and individuals over the next several years through rental subsidies

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[May 03, 2008]  CHICAGO -- On Friday, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich launched the country's largest state rental assistance program, which will help extremely low-income residents in Illinois achieve long-term housing stability. Once fully operational over the next three years, the Rental Housing Support Program will assist an estimated 4,000 "rent-burdened," extremely low-income individuals and families and those with special needs find safe and affordable rental housing through rental subsidies.

Glass"People need housing that's safe, decent and affordable. A stable housing environment is a critical element to helping hardworking people get ahead and build better lives. The Rental Housing Support Program will provide long-term housing stability for low-income residents and the communities they live in by enabling them to focus on the other necessities in life such as work, education and health," said Blagojevich.

"Today's announcement highlights Blagojevich's commitment to providing affordable housing to families and individuals in communities throughout Illinois as prioritized in his 2008 Annual Comprehensive Housing Plan," said DeShana L. Forney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. "The program is the largest state rental assistance program in the nation and further demonstrates Illinois as a national leader in affordable housing."


Under the Rental Housing Support Program, IHDA will award $12 million in grants during the first year to the 14 local administering agencies in both rural and metropolitan communities around the state. Local administering agencies can be local housing authorities, municipalities or not-for-profit organizations with experience in affordable housing. The local administering agencies will then work with landlords who apply to take part in the program to make available affordable units to eligible tenants. Tenants will pay rent of approximately 30 percent of their income, and the local administering agency will use grant funds to pay the balance of the rent negotiated with the landlord.

The new program is paid for by a $10 fee collected from real estate document recordings since July 2005, when Blagojevich signed the Rental Housing Support Bill.


The program is targeted at households that earn less than 30 percent of the median income in the area, or $19,770 per year for a family of four in the Metro East area. Tenants are likely to be extremely low-income seniors and families, people with disabilities or other special needs, or those at risk of becoming homeless.

As listed in the table below, local administering agencies will operate the Rental Housing Support Program in communities around the state.

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To find out more about the program, contact the local administering agency listed for your area or visit and check under "Multifamily Programs." Landlords who are interested in participating in the program in future can call the Illinois Housing Development Authority at 312-836-5200 to speak with April Lasker, program manager. Please note that the city of Chicago will be allocated funds for the Rental Housing Support Program from the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund. For more information about Chicago's program, contact the Department of Housing at 312-742-8400.

"The Rental Housing Support Program will have an immediate impact on working individuals and families who already spend a disproportionate amount of their income on rent and are left with little else for food, bills, health care and education," said Alice Jackson, executive director of St. Clair County's Intergovernmental Grants Department. "This program is also unit-based, which means that if the current tenant moves away, the subsidy stays to assist the home's next tenant, benefiting not only the tenant, but also the community."


The Rental Housing Support Program is part of Blagojevich's commitment to affordable housing. Illinois' efforts to increase affordable housing options for its residents are guided by the governor's annual Comprehensive Housing Plans, which provide a road map for how to leverage housing dollars. The 2008 Housing Plan: Prime Solutions for Affordable Housing identifies $709 million in spending earmarked for affordable housing at six different state agencies that will help approximately 7,932 Illinois residents.

The Comprehensive Housing Plans are developed by the governor's Housing Task Force and are organized and led by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The 35 members of the task force are advocates, developers, lenders and state agency representatives. Copies of Illinois' Comprehensive Housing Plans are available under "Housing Policy and Planning" at

[Text from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

Illinois Rental Housing Support Program

Local administering agency Service area

Grant amount

Estimated number of households
to be helped


Suburban Cook County



DuPage County Housing Authority

DuPage County
(excluding Aurora)



Housing Authority of Joliet

Will County



Housing Choice Partners

Suburban Cook County



Lazarus House

Kane County



McHenry County Housing Authority

McHenry County



Housing Authority of Henry County

Henry, Stark, Bureau County



Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies

Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Boone, Winnebago, Adams, Brown, Pike, Schuyler, Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, White



Kankakee County Housing Authority

Kankakee County



Kendall County Housing Authority

Kendall, Grundy County (excluding Aurora and Joliet)



Winnebago County Housing Authority

Ogle, Jo Daviess, Bureau



City of Rockford, Human Services Department

City of Rockford



Springfield Housing Authority

City of Springfield



St Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department

St. Clair County






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