Winnebago County to distribute $8.3 million in federal funding to renters and landlords

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County officials are distributing $8.3 million in funds from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

County leaders encourage landlords or renters to apply if they experienced a loss of income since April of last year.

Additional qualifications are below:

  • A household member qualified for unemployment or you experienced a loss in income since April 2020
  • You make less than 80% of the median household income ($55,700 for a family of four, $39,000 for a single-person household).
  • You are behind on utility bills

One local landlord explained how his peers have struggled over the past year.

“In general, I would say 10% of tenants out there in our market area are experiencing trouble paying rent,” said Karl Fauerbach, the President of the Rockford Apartment Association.

Karl Fauerbach has over 100 units across Rockford and Loves Park he rents out.

“For the most part everybody is keeping up, but there is a small percentage of people that are not and it puts the burden on smaller landlords more so because they can’t absorb the loss of income,” he explained.

He says the COVID-19 pandemic is making it challenging for both tenants and landlords.

“Unlike any other business, we are forced to provide services and living quarters for people who aren’t paying, but we still have to pay our bills and provide services to those tenants,” Fauerbach explained.

“The Federal Emergency Assistance grant will help provide that stability in our housing market for both tenants and property owners we have $8.3 million available to help the tenants to make their past-due rental payments–which will be sent directly to the landlords,” explained Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Fauerbach says while the federal assistance will help, he is still worried.

“Our concern is that there is no endgame to this. Where do we stop how we let people live without paying rent,” he said.

The deadline to apply is April 15th.

For more details, click here or call 1-815-972-7368.

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