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Illinois rental assistance portal back online after problem

February 9, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A portal through which tenants impacted by COVID-19 can apply for rental assistance is back online after a programming problem compromised some personal information.

An applicant’s Feb. 1 call to the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s call center alerted the department to the problem. The applicant said they saw someone else’s document when they logged into their rental application, IHDA spokeswoman Amy Lee told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph.

“As soon as this information was brought to our attention, we took immediate action to ensure the safety of our applicants was prioritized,” IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said in a statement.

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The portal went offline and all access to external users was blocked while the agency resolved the issue. The portal was offline until Feb. 3.

The agency found the exposure was the result of a coding error associated with a web portal update.

Tenants used the portal to apply to the Illinois Rental Payment Program funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden in March.

The portal was opened on Dec. 6 but stopped accepting applications on Jan. 9. While it’s no longer accepting new applications, it remains open until Feb. 17 so landlords can submit supporting documents for existing applications.

IHDA received more than 89,700 applications. Of those, 110 applications may have had their information compromised. Lee said they have no evidence that there was any use of the information that was compromised.