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The FERA program helps low-income Lake County renters that have a financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Eligible applicants can get help in the form of financial assistance for rent and utility bills.
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Yes. Even if there is an eviction moratorium in place, you are still required to pay rent. If you do not pay rent, you will owe your landlord for all the rent you did not pay. If you can’t afford your rent because you lost your job due to the coronavirus pandemic, apply to the FERA program.
You may be eligible if:
No. Rent and utility payments will be made directly to your landlord or utility company.
You can get up to 3 months of assistance with your future rent. If you have past due rent, you can receive assistance with that as well. No household can receive more than 12 months of assistance total.
You can apply online at LakeCountyIL.gov/renthelp. You will need to fill out an application and attach proof of your eligibility. If you have questions, you can call 211 to speak with someone who can help. If you need help with your application, you can call 211 for a referral to a provider that can help you.
If you don’t have a computer or internet access, you can go to a community agency that has computers or devices for you to use. Call 211 to get a referral to a community agency.
You will need proof of all eligibility factors, including proof you are renting in Lake County, proof of your COVID-related financial hardship, proof you are at risk of housing instability or homelessness, and proof of your income. If you aren’t sure if you have the right documents, call 211 to get connected to someone who can help.
You can get help with gas, electricity, trash removal, and water and sewer utility bills. You can also get help with your internet service bills. You cannot apply for assistance with phone services, mobile phone services, or cable bills.
This program is for units in Lake County only. If you are moving into Lake County and have a signed lease on a unit in Lake County, you may apply for assistance. You may not receive assistance on any unit outside of Lake County, Illinois.
Yes, if you pay lot rent in Lake County, this counts as an obligation to pay rent in Lake County.
No, if you aren’t a renter, you are not eligible for assistance through this program. If you need help, call 211 for a referral to a different program that can help you.
You may have a COVID-related financial hardship if:
You may be at-risk of homelessness or housing instability if:
No. If your application is approved, you can get help with up to three months of your rent, even if you don’t have a past due balance.
Yes, you can apply for both rent and utilities. If you don’t need help with both, you can apply for rent or utilities only.
You only need to apply to one FERA provider agency. If you apply to multiple agencies, only the first agency that receives your application will process it. Submitting applications to multiple agencies may delay assistance.
Assistance is not guaranteed for every Lake County resident that is eligible. Submitting an application does not guarantee assistance.
In most cases, you will need a lease. If you don’t have a lease, you may be eligible if you are able to prove that you were paying rent prior to your financial hardship. If you are not sure if you can prove you are paying rent, talk to 211 or a FERA provider to see if you have the right documents.
Yes. You will need to provide proof that you are paying rent on that room.
Yes. Applications include information for everyone in the household. A utility bill can be eligible if a household member other than the person filling out the application is listed on the utility bill.
Yes. FERA will only help with the portion of your rent or utilities that you pay each month. If you reduced your income, make sure to notify your housing provider that your income has changed. After you notify them, you can apply for FERA. If your income has not changed but you need help paying your rent because of a large unexpected cost due to COVID, you can also apply to FERA.
Please wait 10 days to hear back from the agency. If you have not yet heard back after 10 days, please call the agency that you received a referral for. The agency’s phone number can be found by going to 211LakeCounty.org and typing the agency’s name into the search box about halfway down the page.
Yes. If you qualified for unemployment after March 13, 2020, you can be eligible for FERA even if you were already receiving unemployment benefits before March 13, 2020.
If you were approved for assistance and continue to need additional assistance after the assistance runs out, you can submit a Continued Assistance Form. You will have to prove that you are still eligible.
If you meet all eligibility criteria, you may receive assistance on a security deposit and rent in a new unit. You must have a signed lease in order to qualify for assistance.
No, but you can help your tenants apply. If you are a landlord, your tenant will need to qualify for the program and agree to submit an application. If you talk to your tenant and they agree to apply, you can fill out the Landlord Application. When you fill out the Landlord Application, an email will be sent to your tenant. That email will have an application that your tenant needs to fill out and submit.