Winnebago County to receive more than 8 million dollars to keep families in their homes

U.S. Department of Treasury awards funds to local renters and landlords struggling to make ends meet due to COVID-19
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “This is a God-sent, that this occurred,” said Winnebago County Board Chairperson, Joe Chiarelli.

The U.S. Department of Treasury will supply Winnebago County with more than 8 million dollars to help pandemic-battered tenants and landlords. Winnebago County Board Chairperson, Joe Chiarelli, said these funds came at a good time. Just after the White House extended the eviction moratorium.

“Once they lift the eviction hold that says you can’t evict somebody, once that’s lifted, there will be a flood of evictions coming forth,” said Chiarelli. “People don’t have this rental assistance to catch up on their payments, and so we really believe this is truly going to help the whole system.”

Housing and rental authority experts are working to finalize the application process and reach out to those in need.

“There’s going to be a qualification process,” said Rockford Apartment Association landlord. “Tenants need to understand that they would actually have to provide proof that they are having a legitimate COVID hardship.”

Other qualifications include people who are unemployed or has experienced a reduction in household income, homelessness and or housing stability. Eligible families will have to have an income at or below 80% of the area median.

Paul Arena, with the Rockford Apartment Association, is also a landlord who manages properties in Rockford. He said he has watched many fellow landlords and tenants struggle to make ends meet... and it could get worse before it gets better.

“This is a national tragedy we’re going through. I think everyone is suffering to some degree,” Arena said. “We don’t want things to be worse. So this is a wonderful opportunity to provide some stability to these households.”

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