The Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP)
According to the most recent U.S. Census Pulse Survey, which measures data collected on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, 73,146 Illinoisans indicated that it was “very likely” they would have to move out of their current residence within the next two months due to eviction. An additional 83,745 Illinois survey respondents indicated that an impending eviction was at least “somewhat likely” within the next two months. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic impact have left many Americans with substantial rental debts, the Illinois Eviction Moratorium is set to expire on October 3, 2021.
Fortunately, on Monday, September 13, the Illinois Supreme Court announced the launch of a state-wide (excluding only Cook County) Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (“CBRAP”), which is set to begin operating September 15, 2021. A similar court-based rental assistance program in Cook County is slated to launch in early October. The Cook County court-based rental assistance program will receive funding directly from the federal government.
Although there are other rental assistance programs in place federally and in Illinois, the CBRAP is unique because it allows for expedited processing and disbursement of rental assistance funds. The CBRAP aims to protect renters from eviction by conditioning the receipt of funds on the landlord’s agreement not to evict the tenant for nonpayment of the rent that is ultimately repaid by CBRAP. Landlords are required to inform the tenant about the CBRAP when issuing eviction notices. Additionally, there will be a designated phone number for individuals to call and ask questions about their eviction and the court-based program. CBRAP is intended to stave off evictions and provide an additional safety net as the federal and state eviction moratoriums wind down.
Bob Palmer, the policy director of Housing Action Illinois, told the Chicago Sun Times that “[i]t’s very important that there be rental assistance available through the court and, ideally, judges or for those counties that have court-based mediation programs, [to] provide sort of the final opportunity for landlords to work with their tenant to accept the rent assistance to keep people in their housing.”
To achieve that end, the Illinois Department of Housing has allocated approximately $60 million to the CBRAP for litigants in eviction court. Litigants may qualify for up to 12 months of past due rent and up to 3 months of future rent. The funds allocated by IDHS are only available to litigants currently in eviction court.
Please contact the Real Estate attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. at 815-455-3000 to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss your questions regarding eviction.
 Published on September 8, 2021.