About the Illinois Hardest Hit Program

On April 20, 2016, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), who administers the Illinois Hardest Hit program, announced it has secured $269,474,060 in additional funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to continue to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities.
See press release.

The Illinois Hardest Hit Fund® program provides mortgage assistance to homeowners who have experienced at least a 15 percent income reduction due to a qualifying hardship event and who meet the eligibility criteria. The assistance allows eligible households to avoid foreclosure while they work to regain employment and financial stability.

What is a qualifying hardship event?
Applicants must have experienced a reduction in income due to a qualifying hardship event that was through no fault of their own. Hardship must have occurred after January 1st, 2010 and after property purchase date. Qualifying hardships include:
  • Unemployment
  • Underemployment
  • Decrease/Loss of in Business Income
  • Loss of Income Due to Disability or Health-Related Event
  • Death of a Spouse or Title Holder
  • Divorce of a Spouse or Title Holder

What are the eligibility criteria?
  • Property located in Illinois
  • Primary residence of applicant(s)/title holders
  • Property is owner occupied 1-4 unit
  • Property is single family, multi-family (4 unit max), townhome, condominium, mobile home on a permanent foundation
  • Household must have experienced a 15% reduction in income
  • Household income cannot exceed 120% Area Median Income
  • Household liquid assets cannot exceed $17,500
  • Loan must be secured by a 1st lien position (Home Equity Loans are accepted if in 1st position)
  • Unpaid principal balance must not exceed $500,000
  • Loan must be fixed rate or an adjustable (No interest-only or negative amortization loans)
  • Lender must be participating in the HHF program and willing to accept payments on applicant’s behalf
  • Applicant(s) must not have been convicted of a mortgage related felony in the last 10 years

What types of assistance is available?
The Illinois Hardest Hit Program offers two types of assistance:
    1. Reinstatement Assistance (RA) is a one-time payment of all mortgage arrearage, fees, and penalties.
    2. Monthly Mortgage Payment Assistance (MPA) pays 100 percent of monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months.
*HHF assistance is provided as a 5 year forgivable loan recorded on the property. This assistance is forgiven over the 5 year loan term. All borrowers approved for the program will complete a full set of loan documents. Funds may have to be repaid to IHDA if you sell your home at a profit or refinance during the 5 year loan term.

How much assistance can my household receive?
The total amount of assistance that is available to eligible households is up to $35,000. Payments are made directly to your servicer.

Servicer Participation
Servicer participation in the HHF program is required to approve homeowners for assistance. If you have consumers who are delinquent on their mortgage, join the HHF Lender network. Download the Servicer Participation Agreement, here. If you have questions concerning lender participation in the Illinois HHF program please call 855-873-7405.

I-Refi Program

Alternatively, homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but owe more than their home is worth due to declining property values can apply for assistance under the I-Refi program. Starting August 1, IHDA will offer underwater homeowners up to $50,000 in federal assistance to reduce the balance owed on their mortgage and refinance into a new affordable loan based on the current market value of their home. See this page for more details.

1stHomeIllinois Program

If you are interested in buying a home in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marion, McHenry, St. Clair, Will or Winnebago counties, 1stHomeIllinois is the product for you. It combines a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a $7,500 down payment assistance grant. 1stHomeIllinois is tailored for first-time homebuyers, veterans, or anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years. See this page for more details.

Blight Reduction Program (BRP)

The Illinois Housing Development Authority also allocates Hardest Hit Funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to Illinois government entities and their not-for-profit partners as they target blighted, vacant, residential properties in specific communities for demolition, greening, and eventual reuse or redevelopment. Local governments can access more information about the Blight Reduction Program for their communities here.

About the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)

IHDA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Illinois. IHDA accomplishes its mission through a number of federal and state funding sources. View IHDA's Audited Financial Statements.

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