Illinois Hardest Hit Program

Illinois Hardest Hit Program

NHS is a participating agency in the Illinois Housing Development Authority's (IHDA) Hardest Hit Program. Through funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury, IHDA is able to offer temporary mortgage payment assistance to households that are struggling with income loss due to unemployment or underemployment, but are working to regain sufficient income to keep their homes.  As a participating program review agency, NHS works directly with homeowners to review their program eligibility and to complete and submit an application to IHDA.


The Illinois Hardest Hit Program offers two types of assistance:


  • Reinstatement assistance to pay mortgage arrearages, fees, and penalties in full, and
  • Monthly mortgage payment assistance to pay 100% of the mortgage payment owed to the servicer for up to 18 months while the household makes monthly contribution payments to the Illinois Housing Development Authority during their enrollment in the program.


Maximum assistance is $20,000 - $25,000, depending upon the county where the property is located.


Illinois Hardest Hit Program Eligibility:  

  • Households must have a documented income reduction of 20% due to unemployment or underemployment through no fault of their own.
  • Household income must be at or below 120% of the area median income.
  • Must have a fixed or adjustable rate loan (interest-only or negative amortization loans are not acceptable).  Principal loan balance must not be more than $500,000.
  • Property must be located in Illinois and must be the primary and only residence of all borrowers/owners.  Borrowers cannot own other investment or vacation properties in Illinois or any other State.
  • Property can be a 1 to 4 unit dwelling, provided the owner resides in one unit.


For additional information on program eligibility or to start the on-line application process, visit


Follow the step by step instructions to work through the application. You will have the option of selecting a program review agency (a non-profit housing agency that has been approved by IHDA) to assist you and to help determine your eligibility for the program.  Feel free to select Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago from the list of available agencies.  Once you complete the application, your designated agency will contact you about next steps.  


For information on working with NHS and the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, contact Sherry Smith at 773-329-4146 or

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