Dear Friend,

In an effort to make sure my constituents are aware of special programs, events, grants, and other opportunities, I have compiled this resource newsletter. I hope you find it useful and informative. 

In particular, I'd like to draw your attention to the virtual housing resource fair I will be hosting next week. This is a chance to learn about new housing and rental assistance programs — including many made possible by the American Rescue Plan  and get individual assistance with a wide range of housing issues.

It's an honor to serve as your Congressman. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to my office if we can assist you. You can call my Chicago office between 9AM and 6PM, Monday through Friday, at (773) 779-2400.

Sincerely,

Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress

Housing Resources

Are you a homeowner or renter who wants to take advantage of new COVID-19 assistance programs? Are you interested in purchasing a home? I am hosting a weeklong virtual housing resource fair with workshops with local housing agencies, banks, and other experts. 

Tune in for our kickoff event Monday, May 24th at 5PM
via Zoom or Facebook. Visit Rush.House.Gov/HousingFair for the full list of programming, and keep reading f
or other housing, rental, and utility assistance resources.

The Help for Illinois Families Initiative is a program offered through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO). Click 
HERE for assistance paying for rent, utilities, food, and more. 

If you are a landlord with a tenant who is behind on rental payments or a tenant who is behind on rental payments, the new Illinois Rental Payment Program can provide up to $25,000 in emergency rental assistance which includes three months of future rent payments. Landlords must initiate the application. More information is HERE.

Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS): This program from the City of Chicago provides improvements including grab bars, lever faucets, door repairs, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and wheelchair ramps to help senior citizens remain in their homes. Seniors aged 60+  who reside in 1-4 unit structures may be eligible. Learn more HERE and find the delegate agency in your ward, who can assist with the application process, HERE.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services. Click HERE for more information or call the Illinois LIHEAP Hotline at 1-877-411-9276.

The Utility Billing Relief Program provides low-income City of Chicago residents with a reduced rate on their water, sewer, and water-sewer tax as well as debt relief for those who demonstrate they can manage the reduced rate bills for one year.

Cook County residents can also apply for utility assistance through the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA). More information is HERE

I was glad to have the opportunity to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for Bronzeville Winery, a new Black-owned business on the South Side.

Community Bulletin

Monthly payments from the newly-expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the American Rescue Plan, will begin on July 15th.

More than 88% of children in the First Congressional District will benefit from the Child Tax Credit, which I proudly voted for in Congress. 
After the first payment on July 15th, subsequent CTC payments will be made on the 15th of each month, or the next weekday following the 15th if the 15th is on a weekend or holiday. Eligible families will receive a monthly payment of up to $300 for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6-17.

Scholarship Programs

The CEDA Scholarship Program offers up to $3,000 in financial aid for income-eligible Suburban Cook County residents who demonstrate academic achievement, career potential, and motivation. Learn more and apply HERE.

The Next Generation of Black and Hispanic Farmers Scholarship (NGBHF) Program application deadline for the upcoming academic year is June 15, 2021. New this year, the NGBHF Scholarship Program will award up to 25 scholarships to Black and Hispanic graduating high school seniors who plan to enroll, or are enrolled, in an agriculture program of study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a commitment to engage in the family farm operation after graduation.

Remember, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, no payments are required on federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, and interest rates on those loans are zero percent, until September 30, 2021. More information for students, schools, and families HERE.

Grant Opportunities

Eligible organizations can now submit grant applications for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Organizations can apply online at Grants.gov through June 4, 2021.  In 2021, the IRS awarded 31 TCE grantees $11 million and 297 VITA grantees $25 million. The two programs prepare millions of tax returns each year.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program can provide financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. You can apply for funeral assistance by calling 844-684-6333 between 8AM and 8PM CT, Monday through Friday.

Art Competition

The deadline for my annual Congressional Art Competition has been extended to June 11!

If you are a high school student in the First District, don't miss this chance to have your winning piece of artwork displayed in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
The top ten pieces will be displayed for a two-week exhibit at the Connect Gallery in Hyde Park, with a reception for the artists and their families and an awards ceremony.

The artwork you submit does not have to be specifically created for this competition 
— any piece done during the school year can be submitted. A student release form must accompany each submission, and submissions must be delivered to my Chicago office by 5PM on June 11. More information is HERE.
I recently toured the mass vaccination site at Chicago State University and was proud to see the incredible work being done there to get our community vaccinated!
Vaccination Information

Every Illinois resident age 12+ is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine. You can text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) to find the COVID-19 vaccination location nearest you. 

You can also visit my website at Rush.House.Gov/Vaccine for information on vaccination and COVID-19 testing sites in the First District.

Need help getting to a vaccination site?

Uber is providing up to $40 in free ride credits after you book a vaccine appointment at the United Center mass vaccination site at Zocdoc.com/Vaccine.


Beware of Vaccine-Related Fraud! 

Once you get your COVID-19 vaccine, make sure you keep your vaccination card safe. Do not share a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online or on social media. Scammers may try to steal your personal information, including date of birth or health care details, from the content you post. 

You should get a COVID-19 vaccination card at your first vaccine appointment. If you didn't, contact the provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to get a card. 

If someone contacts you trying to buy or sell a vaccination card, it's a scam. If you suspect COVID-19-related fraud, report it online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

In other health care news,
you may be eligible for more savings and lower costs on health insurance through HealthCare.Gov because of expanded subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan.

The American Rescue Plan also extended the special enrollment period for health insurance coverage. You now have through August 15, 2021 to enroll. 
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