Administration targets $30 million to immigrant communities
By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order Friday, Oct. 16, extending the statewide moratorium on residential evictions for another 30 days.
Pritzker first put a hold on residential evictions through an executive order on March 20, the same day he issued a statewide stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has reissued the order every 30 days, most recently on Sept 18. That order would have expired Saturday.
In addition to extending the eviction moratorium, Pritzker also reissued numerous other executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a moratorium on garnishments and wage deductions.
“Remember, nothing really has changed in terms of the effect of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, its effect on people’s jobs, and their ability or inability to pay rent or mortgage,” Pritzker said during a news conference Friday in Elgin. “And it’s one of the reasons why we’ve got more and more assistance for housing, as we’re announcing today.”
Pritzker was in Elgin to announce that his administration is also committing $30 million to the state’s network of welcoming centers, which provide services primarily to immigrant communities.
Of that money, $18 million will be used for housing and utility assistance while $4.5 million will go toward employment and job training services and $4 million will be used to provide health care education, the administration said in a release. The rest will be used for multilingual outreach and technical assistance.
“We know that using personal information to apply for government services can bring additional stress to our immigrant communities, particularly in this climate, where the current president seeks to undermine one of the greatest strengths of our country, our new immigrants,” Pritzker said. “So for this program, our welcoming centers will work directly with the families and neighborhoods who already know and trust them, ensuring that those most in need will be able to stay in their homes without fear of federal government interference.”
The $30 million is being distributed through the Department of Human Services with money appropriated in the current fiscal year’s budget.
In addition to the $30 million in state money, the governor’s office said, IDHS received another $30 in federal funds this year for immigrant-related services. That includes $10 million to connect immigrants with critical services and citizenship support and $20 million for cash assistance for Illinoisans who are not eligible for the federal pandemic stimulus.