Chicago to begin issuing $1,000 grants to renters, homeowners

Over 83K applications were received for Covid-19 housing assistance program, funded by developers who have built market-rate housing

TRD CHICAGO /
Apr.April 07, 2020 02:30 PM
Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara (Credit: iStock, City of Chicago)

Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara (Credit: iStock, City of Chicago)

A few thousand homeowners who need help paying rent or mortgage payments will be getting some relief starting this week.

City Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said the Covid-19 Housing Assistance Grant program will be issuing grants to 2,000 people starting this week.

The program, which has an initial $2 million allocation, will be dispersed through community organizations and through a lottery with the city, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The agency is looking to add funding sources to the Covid-19 grant program. Over 83,000 applications were received for the program, which is funded by developers who have built market-rate housing.

According to the Sun-Times, recipients cannot have an income above 60 percent of the area’s median, roughly $53,000 a year for a family of four. Housing department staffers will review applications to ensure the applicants lost income due to the pandemic.

Though the program will undoubtedly help some renters and homeowners, city and state officials have held back on issuing a mortgage forbearance directive or rent freeze, saying that would have to be done at the federal level.

And although some activists have called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to tap tax increment financing money to further assist those renters and homeowners, she’s resisted, citing legal restrictions on how funds could be spent. [Sun-Times] — James Kleimann


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