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Emergency housing assistance fair shares resources as demand skyrockets

Director of Quad Cities Housing Council Leslie Kilgannon said the reason for the increase in housing assistance demand is the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Local and state agencies reached out to residents in Rock Island Wednesday night in an emergency housing assistance fair that aimed to bring awareness to the available housing assistance programs.

Director of Quad Cities Housing Council, Leslie Kilgannon said the reason for the increase in housing assistance demand is due to the lingering effects COVID-19 pandemic.

"[We're seeing] a huge uptick in requests for eviction prevention, dollars and rental assistance. People who were able to hold their own and got some assistance on eviction were kind of held off during the pandemic," Kilgannon said. "All of those kinds of systems that were wonderful and really helped everyone get through the pandemic, the funding, the resources and the accommodations are all being removed now. And so what you're finding is that eviction tsunami that we were afraid we were going to get during the pandemic, we're starting to see signs of a huge need."

The Illinois Housing Development Authority currently offers two different programs. 

"One is our court-based rental assistance program," said dousing authority official Rodrigo Carrillo. "That program is available to those that are in the process of eviction. And in order to prevent eviction, and create housing stability, we're willing to pay up to 18 months of rent. So up to 15 months up past two and three months forward."

IHDA also has a program for homeowners behind on their mortgages.  

"We also have our homeowners' assistance funds. So homeowners in distress, which we have seen, are able to apply for past due mortgages up to $60,000 of assistance," Carrillo said. "You have to have at least 30 days of days past mortgage. And then you have to qualify to have a direct or indirect COVID-related issue. But we don't ask for that proof. It is just indirect or direct."

For more information and all housing resources, click/tap here.

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