Homeowners in Chicago may be eligible for a $15,000 grant to help pay their housing costs during the coronavirus pandemic

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CHICAGO, IL — Some homeowners in Chicago may be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000 to help pay their housing costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is accepting applications through Sept. 4 for its $150 million Emergency Mortgage Assistance program, though officials said the application window could close early if the agency receives a large number of applications.

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance program is expected to help about 10,000 homeowners across the state. To be eligible for a grant from the program, homeowners must have an unpaid balance on their mortgage that started after March 1, according to officials.

Chicago homeowners, or adult members of their households, also must have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic and earn less than the maximum amount allowed for their area.

The IHDA determines income eligibility based on median incomes calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The IHDA’s website includes a tool that allows people to check if they are eligible for emergency assistance.

The IHDA will send grants to the mortgage servicers of homeowners whose applications are approved. The grants will only pay full mortgage payments and will not cover partial payments, according to officials.

EMA grants will be used to cover past-due mortgage payments, with any remaining money to be put toward future payments in 2020, officials have said.

Homeowners in Chicago can get help with their applications from The Neighbor Project, located at 2455 Glenwood Ave. in Joliet one of 62 community and outreach assistance organizations selected by Illinois officials to ease the process.

Renters in Cook County can apply for a $5,000 rent relief grant from the IHDA through Friday after state officials extended the application deadline by a week due to strong storms in parts of Illinois.