Emergency Funding to Help Pay Rent, Pritzker Defends New Enforcement Rules – NBC Chicago

Emergency Funding to Help Pay Rent, Pritzker Defends New Enforcement Rules – NBC Chicago


Note: Press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker or Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the video player above.

If you’re behind on paying rent due to a loss of income in the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois officials announced a new program Monday with emergency funding under which you may be eligible to apply for assistance.

The new program comes as Illinois health officials reported 1,319 new coronavirus cases and one additional death.

Those figures come one day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended the state’s proposed new rules for enforcement on public health regulations and the mandate requiring masks in public.

Here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around the state today, Aug. 10:

Illinois Reports 1,319 New Cases of Coronavirus, Single Death

The state of Illinois has reported 1,319 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, along with a single additional death attributed to the virus.

According to new data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has now recorded a total of 195,399 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, with 7,637 fatalities reported.

Over the last 24 hours, the state has reported 32,353 new tests, with a total of 3,106,341 performed during the pandemic. The daily testing number is nearly 10,000 below the number reported one day earlier.

Over the last 24 hours, the state has reported 32,353 new tests, with a total of 3,106,341 performed during the pandemic. The daily testing number is nearly 10,000 below the number reported one day earlier.

Those new test results keep the state’s seven-day positivity rate at 4.1%.

In terms of hospitalizations, Illinois saw numbers in all metrics slightly increase from Sunday, with 138 patients currently on ventilators. A total of 352 patients are currently in intensive care units with 1,481 hospitalized with coronavirus in the state.

The news comes as several areas of the state see spikes in positivity rates and in case numbers, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker looking to implement more requirements for face coverings and threatening to potentially impose more restrictions on areas where cases are on the rise.

Illinois Announces New Program to Pay $5,000 in Rent for Impacted Tenants

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that applications are now open for rental assistance to those who may have lost a job or income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority will allocate $150 million to help eligible renters pay their rent through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Pritzker’s office said in a statement.

After the application period for rental assistance, the IHDA will then open applications for the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program to provide $150 million to homeowners impacted by the pandemic.

Pritzker’s office said the programs are the “largest emergency housing assistance programs in the nation and will help approximately 40,000 households” by the end of the year.

“We are in a moment that requires a historic effort to mitigate this virus’s devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of the residents of this state – one that centers on rebounding with a stronger, more inclusive economy on the other side,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“Keeping people in their homes isn’t just a moral obligation, it’s an economic one, and I’m incredibly proud that even in tough financial times for the state, we used our federal resources to build the largest pandemic housing stability program of any state in the nation,” he continued.

Under the rental assistance program, tenants will receive a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover any missed rent payments beginning in March and extending through December or until the $5,000 is exhausted, whichever comes first, officials said. Tenants will not have to repay that funding.

Applications are open from Monday through Aug. 21, though the window may close early due to anticipated high volume, the governor’s office said. The IHDA will use a third-party entity to select applications to be reviewed for eligibility, with about 30,000 tenants expected to receive funding.

Tenants are eligible to apply if they meet three criteria: their household income before March 1 was at or below 80% of the area’s median income, an adult member of the household has lost income due to the pandemic, and the household has an unpaid rent balance.

More information, including how to apply, can be found here.

Pritzker Defends New Rules for Enforcement of Mask Mandate, Regulations

As lawmakers prepare to evaluate new rules filed by the Illinois Department of Public Health Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that the “modest” changes to the way the state’s coronavirus regulations are enforced are more fair than measures currently on the books in the state.

Those rules, designed to give local health departments and law enforcement agencies “more leeway” in enforcing the state’s mask mandate and social gathering restrictions, will require approval of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Under provisions of the new rules, businesses, schools and child care facilities could face fines of up to $2,500 for refusing to comply with state mandates. Even with that high dollar amount for violations, Pritzker says that the rules are actually much more fair and even-handed than other enforcement options that could have been used.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the Illinois Department of Public Health will file emergency rules aimed at helping local health and police agencies enforce the state’s mask mandate and social gathering restrictions.

“The rule allows a modest level of enforcement similar to what many other states already have,” he said. “It prioritizes education and support for businesses over shaming and punishment. It stands in vast contrast to the arcane rules written long ago and without this pandemic in mind. These hard-and-fast rules can cripple businesses.”

Pritzker says the new rules will allow enforcement agencies and health departments to issue warnings rather than citations, and that the new rules are designed more for education purposes than punitive ones.

“Today I’m amplifying and providing enforcement mechanisms for something the experts are saying with near unanimity: mandating masks and capacity limits are two of the most important things we can do to stay healthy and safe during this pandemic,” he said.

The governor says that the new rules on enforcement actions are designed not to punish violators, but to encourage them to adhere to rules that many businesses and individuals are following across the state.

“We’re doing this for the businesses that are following the rules while their competitors flout them,” he said. “We’re doing this for the people who have to work in the stores where their bosses won’t enforce public health rules, thereby putting their lives and health at risk.”

Illinois Reports 1,382 New Cases of
Coronavirus, 8 Additional Deaths Sunday

The state of Illinois has reported 1,382 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, along with eight additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to new data from
the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has now recorded a total of
194,080 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, with 7,636 fatalities
reported.

Over the last 24 hours, the
state has reported 41,354 new tests, with a total of 3,073,988 performed during
the pandemic.

Fencing Erected at Montrose Beach After Lightfoot Blasts Large Gathering

While Chicago’s beaches remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of people gathered in an area near the city’s Montrose Beach Saturday, prompting criticism from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot posted a social
media showing several individuals, many of them who appeared to not be abiding
by social distancing guidelines, in a grassy area near boat docks.

“It’s called a pandemic, people,” the mayor tweeted. “This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don’t make us take steps backwards.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stern warning to Chicagoans after hundreds of people flocked to a lakefront park on the North Side over the weekend. NBC 5’s Kate Chappell reports.

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