2020 Census deadline approaches
If you haven’t responded to the 2020 Census, you have until September 30 to do so.
Mandated by the United States Constitution, the census is a count of the United States population that takes place every ten years. The 2020 Census will be the 24th census conducted since 1790.
Why should I fill out my 2020 Census?
Not only does the Census help the Federal Government collect important data such as population, race, and gender, but it also plays a large role in how the government allocates funds to our communities.
Every person who fills out the Census accounts for $1,600 a year ($16,000 per decade) in federal funding for your local communities, including schools, hospitals, and fire departments.
How do I fill out my 2020 Census?
This year, for the first time, you can take the census online!
Head to 2020census.gov and enter your Census ID, which you can find in the materials mailed to you. If you don’t have those materials, click the option “If you do not have a Census ID, click here,” and you will be instructed from there.
If you aren't able to fill the Census out online, you can simply fill out and return the mailed materials.
License Extension Announced for Senior Drivers
In an effort to reduce risks for senior citizen drivers during the COVID-19 health pandemic, the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) has announced a one-year extension of driver’s license expiration dates.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, there are approximately 147,000 drivers age 75 and over with expired or expiring driver’s licenses in 2020. Recognizing that senior citizens are vulnerable amidst the current health crisis, drivers who are 75 years of age or older will be granted an extension period of one year past the licenses’ current 2020 expiration dates.
The Secretary of State will be sending senior drivers notification letters of the extension. Eligible drivers must be 75 or older, have a valid license and keep the letter of notification with them for proof of the extension. Drivers who are suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension.
The extension of senior citizens drivers is just one of several extensions being provided to Illinois drivers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, expiration dates for driver’s licenses/ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020.
The public is also reminded that online services are available to avoid going to SOS facilities. Drivers can visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to take advantage of these online services.
Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
The Illinois Housing Development Authority has announced the development of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) Program to assist Illinois homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
If approved under the new grant program, homeowners could receive up to 15,000 to cover missed mortgage payments beginning as early as March 2020 and prepay mortgage payments through December 2020 as long as funds are available.
Under the program, approximately 10,000 homeowners are expected to receive funding, with funds being paid directly to the mortgage servicer on the homeowner’s behalf.
EMA eligibility requirements include:
- Applicant’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 2019 Tax Return must be less than the maximum allowed for their area;
- Applicant, or an adult member of household, has had a loss of income due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020;
- Applicant’s mortgage was current as of February 29, 2020;
- Applicant should have a past due balance or a forbearance balance that began sometime on or after March 1, 2020;
- Applicant’s mortgage balance is $425,000 or less;
- Applicant’s mortgage is in 1st lien/mortgage position;
- Applicant’s property is their primary residence;
- The property is 1 or 2 units;
- Applicant’s lender must be willing to accept payments; AND
- Loan cannot be a reverse mortgage
Applications for EMA will be accepted August 24th through September 4th. Applications will be selected by third party randomized service. However, IHDA warns applicant’s that the window for assistance may close early.
For help applying, IHDA has partnered with 62 Community and Outreach Assistance organizations. Applicants can visit ema.ihda.org to see the complete list of assistance organizations participating. Applicants can also utilize the IHDA’s call center at (312) 883-2720, or toll-free at (888) 252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at (877) 274-4309 (TTY).