Addressing housing issues is a focus of the non-profit McHenry County Housing Authority. They offer qualified low income and homeless families a number of resources, most of which are funded by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. The community action type agency may have funds to pay for rental expenses, applications for section 8 housing choice vouchers, and grants from LIHEAP. Other services, including referrals, may be provided as well.
MCHA offers a number of services for low-income households, including the Emergency Homeless Shelter, help with paying for Security Deposits, Back Rent Assistance and maybe even funds for first month's rent. All of their state of Illinois and federally funded programs are tailored to meet the needs of low income and struggling residents in the community.
For the homeless and people facing eviction in McHenry County Illinois, the CSBG grant program is available to provide various forms of financial assistance or loans. There may be help with paying a security deposit or monthly rental expenses. In addition, for those who are found to be eligible, the community action agency also assists with finding short term-emergency shelter for the homeless.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, as well as well as the non-profit McHenry County Housing Authority provide Section 8 Rental Assistance vouchers to eligible residents. It is for low income and elderly residents of the community.
Tenants who receive a voucher pay a percentage of their total household income toward rent, including utilities and heating bills. The Housing Authority then contracts with the landlords to pay the remainder of the rent on behalf of the tenants.
Landlords need to enroll as well in the HUD program. As part of this, they need to agree to maintain the homes or apartments, all of which are inspected by the Housing Authority to ensure that they are safe, habitable and sanitary under federal government housing quality standards.
To be qualified, applying households are required to meet federal government income guidelines, taking into all types of income, including social security, wages, disability benefits, public aid, and savings.
Through its Public Housing Low Rent Assistance Program, McHenry County Housing Authority manages dozens of low cost single-family homes, apartments and duplex units throughout the county. The program’s purpose is to provide rental housing assistance to families meeting the same income criteria required by the Section 8 Program.
Additionally, to be placed on the waiting list for these homes, applicants must live or work in the region. Individuals or families residing outside of McHenry County Illinois may be eligible for placement on a secondary Public Housing waiting list.
MCHA's Rental Housing Support Program is operated under contract with local landlords to provide rental units. In contrast to Section 8 assistance, the client who enrolls must remain in the unit for the duration of the lease agreement that is signed. Clients who move forfeit all forms of housing assistance, so there are various conditions in place.
Case managers from the McHenry County Housing Authority also works with the landlords to reach out to potential tenants from the area, who are then added to a waiting list. Rental payments are made directly by MCHA on a quarterly basis.
Heating and utility bill help from LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program's grant is available to eligible residents in need of assistance with the payment of natural gas, power and electric bills. An overdue bill or cut-off notice is not required in order to apply for a grant, however appointments are required. Call the McHenry County Housing Authority at 815-338-7752 for this appointment.
The overall goal of the Weatherization Program is to significantly reduce home heating bills for local residents. Supported by an annual grant from the Illinois Department of Public Aid, the program provides free weatherization services to low income qualified McHenry County residents.
Note that clients already participating in LIHEAP (see above) automatically qualify for the free Weatherization program. In addition to homeowners, renters meeting income guidelines may be eligible for various forms of assistance. For qualifying renters, landlords must agree to pay a portion of the cost of the home updates.
The weatherization process begins with a home assessment by a certified contractor that is part of the community action agency, who then conducts an analysis to determine necessary materials to use and labor. Additionally, an experienced contractor evaluates the home heating system for safety and effectiveness.
Based on the results of this review, any necessary work is performed by various contractors that are certified by McHenry County Housing Authority. Services performed may include replacing vent dampers, thermostats, and electronic ignitions, making minor repairs to conserve energy and make the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, as well as increasing heating system efficiency by checking the system. Other measures include Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Sealing Cracks, Caulking, Adding Insulation, Weather Stripping, and also Window Repair or replacement. The home is then inspected by certified personnel to make sure all work was done completely and correctly.
Dental assistance can be coordinated too. Those low income or uninsured families requiring assistance with obtaining affordable dental services can turn to the CSBG Emergency Dental Program. This voucher-based program assists clients with accessing treatment from clinics, hospitals or other providers of their choice.
The location of the McHenry County Housing Authority is 1108 North Seminary Rd.
Woodstock, Illinois 60098-1109. Call 815-338-7752.
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