A new rental assistance program announced by the Illinois Supreme Court this week is intended to assist housing providers and tenants negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Starting today, housing providers and tenants with a pending eviction case can apply for the Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP). Approximately $60 million has been allocated exclusively for eviction court litigants who may qualify for up to 12 months of past due rent and three months of future rent. Cook County is scheduled to launch its own court-based program in early October.

In addition to establishing this new program, the Illinois Supreme Court has instituted a new rule requiring housing providers who file an eviction complaint to attach to their summons a form notice to tenants of potential relief programs available to those impacted by COVID-19. The form required is attached as an exhibit to the new rule. Housing providers are also encouraged to check with their local Circuit Clerk for copies of this form, and any other local form that may be required.

Money for the program is being distributed from federal money provided to the State through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. The program will not allow tenants or housing providers to apply to the court-based program if they have already applied for rental assistance through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

Housing providers are once again reminded that they should consult with their attorney for filing requirements that may be specific to their location, as well as any conditions that may attach to relief programs should they choose to participate.