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Rent assistance in Illinois.

Find charities and government agencies in Illinois that provide struggling families the ability to get emergency rental assistance, funds for paying security deposits, and help for utility bills (if a disconnection would lead to an eviction). There are a number of free grant programs, loans, as well as free legal resources that help low-income tenants, single moms, the elderly and others. Find long rent assistance as well as programs that offer immediate relief in Illinois below.

Select a county and/or city below for rent help. Each county has a number of places to turn to for funds. Charities provide limited rent payment help or the government (including DHS in Illinois) will offer free grant money. There is also security deposit help, financial help to pay for moving costs and more.

Get help with rent from charity or government programs in IL

In addition to the county and city programs below, there are several statewide resources that offer relief. These are rental and housing assistance programs are offered to all struggling renters or homeless people and are “statewide” programs. They include the following.

  • Homeless Prevention Program. The primary goal is to provide help with paying rent and other housing assistance to prevent evictions. The Illinois Department of Human Services administers this program, and other services, in partnership with various non-profits, charities and churches. More on eviction prevention in IL.
  • Section 8 HUD vouchers - Illinois Rental Housing Support Program. This is the country’s largest state rental and low income housing assistance program. The Illinois Housing Development Authority administers the program with local PHAs in each county. Local administering agencies and non-profits process section 8 vouchers, offer income subsidized homes or apartments, and help low-income families. HUD and Illinois make rental units affordable for households earning less than 30% of the area’s median total household income. More on section 8 applications in Illinois.
  • Salvation Army in Illinois - Qualified families and individuals may be able to receive emergency financial help from the faith based charity. This charity offers funds and grants for paying back rent, home loans, utility bills, and various supportive services, including referrals and case management. All of the Salvation Army programs and resources offered have an objective of stopping evictions, homelessness, preventing foreclosures, and addressing all housing issues that families may encounter. A number of services are even offered for people who are currently homeless. More on Salvation Army rent help in Illinois.




  • Vouchers for emergency, short term accommodations can be distributed by DHS. When available, the homeless person will be able to use them at a low priced motel or maybe a hotel that has an agreement in place with the state of Illinois. This program is not commonly offered, and is generally only an option when local shelters are filled to capacity or closed for some reason. More on the Illinois voucher program.
  • Community Action Agency grant programs - The non-profits can  help stabilize low to moderate income families, veterans, the unemployed and individuals in their existing apartments or homes. If someone is currently homeless, non-profits may be able to reduce the amount of time that they need to stay in transitional housing or shelters. Case managers from the community action agencies in IL can help applicants find safe and affordable housing, and provide arrange cash assistance for paying security deposits, utility connection fees and first month’s rent.
    Financial assistance is targeted at individuals who are faced with immediate danger of eviction from their home or apartment.  Last, but not least, assistance is offered for individuals or families who are currently homeless. Locate community action agency programs in Illinois near you.
  • DHS rent and housing programs - The Illinois Department of Human Services has many local offices, all of which offer social services, rental grants and more. They also partner with Illinois Homeless Services Continua of Care. The organizations is a network of non-profit agencies, local governments, and community action agencies and organizations that are all geographically linked together to cover the service needs of the entire state. Almost 100 different agencies and organizations distribute funds and accept applications across Illinois.
    The household that is applying must fully document a temporary economic crisis or hardship that is beyond their control and was not caused by them. For example, an unexpected job loss or medical emergency. In addition, applying households need to be able to demonstrate and provide they will have the ability to meet the prospective mortgage/rental/or utility obligations after the assistance has been granted, and after they have a short period of time to get back on their feet. They need to provide this based on their current or anticipated income. Cal Illinois Department of Human Services at 1-800-843-6154. Or find a listing of agencies to call. Read more on Illinois housing assistance.
  • Free lawyers help tenants in IL - Get free counseling and support services to prevent homelessness and evictions or repeated episodes of homelessness from lawyers, paralegals, and volunteer attorneys in Illinois. Examples of these services include legal aid for Job Preparation/Employment Services as well as low income housing location and counseling. Or get help contesting or fighting an eviction in court. Or get outreach and case management. More on free Legal Aid Illinois online.





In addition to the regional and statewide programs above, there are many other local agencies. Those include Catholic Charities in Illinois, social service offices, non-profits and more. All of them can be found below or using the search bar on the site. Apply for financial help for rent or housing to stop homelessness before the eviction process starts.

Local Illinois agencies for rental assistance

Select a city or county below in order to find nearby rent assistance programs for low-income families as well as people with no money in Illinois. Get applications to grant money for rent, free vouchers or funds from the government or charities as well as churches. Struggling tenants and others can get help paying rent from a number of places in IL.


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