Civil Legal Assistance Grants

Purpose

The IEJF makes grants to provide legal assistance to low-income Illinois homeowners in danger of losing their home who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

Priority Areas

The IEJF IL Emergency HAF Program grants will focus on the following two priority area:

  • Foreclosure Legal Services: This includes legal advice, consultations, limited services, full representation, and telephone hotline services in foreclosure and homeownership matters
  • Online Legal Information and Triage Services. These services enable Illinois residents to receive online legal information, triage, and referral services for foreclosure and homeownership matters, mediation and available mortgage assistance.

Use of Grant Funds

Grants will be made to support staff or contract positions at eligible legal services providers, including attorneys, paralegals, program staff, and/or pro bono coordinators. Grant funds can be used to pay for salaries, benefits, and other allowable costs directly related to supporting the positions.  Indirect costs are limited to no more than 10% unless the organization has a higher negotiated rate. The applicant must demonstrate how the proposed staff or contract positions will help the organization provide efficient and effective legal assistance to persons in one or both of the priority areas.

Eligibility

In the Civil Legal Assistance category, the IEJF will only consider applications from Illinois-based not-for-profit organizations that:

  • Serve persons in one or both of the two priority areas listed above (Foreclosure Legal Services and Online Legal Information and Triage Services.
  • For foreclosure legal services, employ licensed attorneys to provide legal services, who can be supplemented by contract attorneys, law students or other professionals acting under the supervision of licensed attorneys.

Evaluation Criteria

Grant applications in the Civil Legal Assistance category will be evaluated based on (in addition to criteria listed in Overview Section):

  • Organizational capacity and experience in providing legal services in foreclosure and homeownership cases.
  • Organizational experience in facilitating referrals to non-legal organizations to address the legal crisis, such as housing or financial counselors, other social service providers, and mortgage assistance programs.
  • Demonstrated need for the proposed services, as reflected in the number of eligible clients in the applicant’s service area; current unmet demand; and requests for assistance from other community agencies serving the target populations.

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