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Will County Eviction-Diversion Pilot Project to be Fully Implemented
Anastasia Tuskey
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Will County Eviction-Diversion Pilot Project to be Fully Implemented

Partnership between County Executive and Circuit Court works to help residents avoid eviction

County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and 12th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Daniel Kennedy today announced that their joint eviction-diversion program has successfully left the pilot stage and will become a formal process to help mitigate COVID-19 related housing impacts.

The program, officially titled the Court-Based Housing Stabilization Program, was created to offer tenants facing eviction court one final opportunity to be connected with state and local assistance. The pilot project was prepared ahead of the expiration of the Illinois eviction moratorium in October, 2021.

“This program has provided a critical resource for residents facing eviction and landlords facing financial hardship due to unpaid rent,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “I appreciate the Circuit Court for working with us on this partnership aimed at keeping people in their homes.”

Tenants and landlords are able to pursue assistance through the program before attending an eviction court summons or the day of a scheduled court appearance. If requested during a court appearance, the judge may connect the parties with a representative from the Will County Community Development Division to connect with services and assistance.

“Through this program, we are offering an avenue of support for those summoned to eviction court,” Chief Judge Kennedy said. “The pilot project demonstrated the importance of connecting residents with housing assistance resources at this stage of the process.”

The services being offered through the program include housing navigation to connect residents with local assistance programs, mediation services to resolve issues between parties, and legal services to qualifying tenants. Additionally, the Community Development Division can connect eligible tenants who are behind on rent due to COVID-19 financial hardships with the Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program. The program can also assist homeowners that are in eviction court due to unpaid homeowner association fees.

More information on eviction-diversion resources can be found at: https://willcountyillinois.org/court-based-rental-assistance/.

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