ROCKFORD (WREX) — Winnebago County has received millions of dollars in federal funds to help with rental assistance.
The county is receiving $8,376,028.50 through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.
The funds are to help residents that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not less than 90% of the awarded funds must be used for direct financial assistance, including rent, rental arrears and utilities.
The program eligibility and administration will be finalized in the coming days, but generally an eligible family would meet the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.
- Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to their application will be prioritized.
- Families already receiving rental assistance through other programs would not be eligible.
“These funds will be a significant impact to Winnebago County”, said Winnebago County Chairman Joe Chiarelli. “Once the eviction moratorium is lifted, we could see a burden placed not only on families that have lost income due to the pandemic, but also on landlords that are faced with no choice but eviction. The increase in homelessness is just the start, evictions in turn create more caseloads for our courts and the Sheriff’s Department. These funds will help our community far beyond helping with past rent balances.
Winnebago County Chairman Joe Chiarelli says he expects to partner with the City of Rockford Human Services for delivery of the funding throughout the county.
“Rockford Mayor McNamara and I have already had conversations about how we can work together to bring the best of Winnebago County and Rockford departments for this program” said Chairman Chiarelli.
Chairman Chiarelli says a formal application will be available in the near future.