Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates & Information

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September 16 UPDATE  

Funding Available for Round 2 of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG)

 Governor JB Pritzker announced today that funding is available and applications are now open as of the afternoon of Thursday, September 17 for Round 2 of the Business Interruption Grant.  The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19.  

 The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses.  Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000, commensurate with revenue losses incurred and business size

 ASSISTANCE: For assistance with the grant application, questions can be submitted via the submission form in either English or Spanish

 DCEO will be hosting a series of webinars regarding this program.  You can register for any of the webinars by using the links below: 

HOW TO APPLY: Please return here for a link to the application. To help you prepare for your application, see below a preliminary application and checklist.

ROUND 2 APPLICATION DETAILS:

STATE OF ILLINOIS UDPATES SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR RESTAURANTS AND BAR ESTABLISHMENTS TO PROTECT PATRONS AND WORKERS FROM COVID-19

August 25- The State of Illinois today announced revised guidelines for restaurants and bar establishments statewide to operate safely and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Based on a recent increase in cases, these latest guidelines will require patrons to wear a mask during any interaction with wait staff, food service workers and other employees at bars and restaurants. Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth when patrons are approached and served by staff, including but not limited to when employees take patrons orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables. This guidance will also apply to other facilities with food services areas that are currently subject to the Restore Illinois guidance, such as indoor recreational facilities, museums and entertainment venues.

New guidelines go into effect Wednesday, August 26th and will require face coverings to be worn both in indoor and outdoor dining settings in all eleven regions in the state. Full guidelines may be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

Pritizer Administration Launches $150 Million in Emergency Mortgage Assistance

August 25- Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced the opening of the state’s new Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) program to assist homeowners who have seen their income decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the EMA program, IHDA will allocate grants up to $15,000 to help income-eligible homeowners who have struggled to make their mortgage payments as a result of the pandemic. Applications are now available at ema.ihda.org and IHDA expects to assist approximately 10,000 households before the end of 2020.

 
“At a time when the connection between housing and health is clearer than ever, it is critically important that we keep families stably housed for individual well-being, public health and the recovery of our state’s economy,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “My administration remains committed to doing everything we can to provide much-needed support for Illinois residents who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, which is why we created the largest state housing assistance programs in the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date. The Emergency Mortgage Assistance program will provide critical support for our homeowners, giving them the time they need to regain their financial footing.”

The Household Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census found that over 1 in 10 Illinois homeowners have little-to-no confidence in making their mortgage payment in September. A single foreclosure costs the homeowner, servicer and local government nearly $80,000, adding additional strain to the housing cycle. Foreclosed homes also lower neighboring property values by up to 3.9 percent according to the Federal Reserve.

“Everyone suffers when a friend, family member or neighbor goes into foreclosure, and the pandemic has left too many families at risk of losing their homes,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program is a vital opportunity for homeowners get the support they need during this difficult time, and I encourage those who have lost a job or seen their income decline as a result of COVID-19 to visit our application portal to apply today.”

Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

Available August 24, 2020, the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA) will assist homeowners who have experienced a COVID-19-related loss of income resulting in past due mortgage balances sometime after March 2020. Approved applicants will receive up to $15,000 paid directly to their mortgage servicer. Assistance will cover the homeowner’s past due or forbearance balance and their regular mortgage payments through December 30, 2020, or until the funding is exhausted, whichever comes first. Payments may include all escrowed first mortgage expenses including property taxes, insurance and certain fees. The assistance will be in the form of a grant and repayment will not be required. Applications for EMA will be accepted from August 24th through September 4th. Due to anticipated high volume, the application window may close early. IHDA will use a third-party entity to select a pool of applications to be reviewed for eligibility. The program is expected to assist approximately 10,000 households. Apply online at: ema.ihda.org.

Homeowner Eligibility:

• Household adjusted gross income from 2019 Tax Return was at or below 120 percent of the Area Median Income;
• An adult member of the household has had a loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis on or after March 1, 2020;
• Homeowner’s mortgage was current through February 29, 2020; and
 • The mortgage is past due or in forbearance.

Financial assistance from the EMA program is funded through Illinois’ allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). Passed in March 2020, the CARES Act provided $3.5 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds to the State of Illinois to help residents and businesses impacted by the pandemic. In May, the Illinois General Assembly directed $396 million of this funding to IHDA to provide direct assistance to struggling renters and homeowners. The funding must be completely distributed by December 30, 2020.

COVID-19 Recovery:  Rental ASsistance For
Cook county

August 10- Financial help for suburban Cook County renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What does the Rental Assistance program do?

The Rental Assistance program helps suburban Cook County residents having difficulty paying their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It pays up to three months of overdue or future rent.

Rental payments will be sent directly to landlords by the Housing Authority of Cook County. The program is part of the Cook County Community Recovery Initiative, funded by the federal CARES Act.

COVID-19 Drive Through Testing Available at the DuPuge County Fairgrounds 

June 11- A new drive through COVID 19 testing site will open at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Rd, Wheaton, IL 60187  on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, or until testing capacity is reached which is 400 tests a day.  All residents of DuPage County can be tested, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed. 

To learn more, please visit the DuPage County COVID 19 Dashboard: www.dupagehealth.org/covid19data