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City Announces $33 Million Housing Assistance Program To Support Rent, Mortgage Relief

By Colby Smith

City Announces $33 Million Housing Assistance Program To Support Rent, Mortgage Relief

Applications for rental assistance can be submitted from now until August 10.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced an extension of the city’s $33 million federal Coronavirus, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act that which will go towards rent and mortgage relief for over 10,000 citizens across Chicago.

“COVID-19 has laid bare and exacerbated the issue of housing insecurity, a core symptom of the crushing poverty and economic hardship that remains the reality for far too many Chicagoans,” said Lightfoot in a press release.

“This much-needed expansion of our Housing Assistance Grants and the creation of the online Chicago Housing Assistance Portal will ensure that our residents have the support they need to stay in their homes, stay safe and stay afloat during these uncertain times.”

The Housing Assistance Grant program includes a variety of new resources for renters, home and property owners to find housing support through the city’s new online portal. Those programs include:

  • DFSS Rental Assistance Program (RAP)
  • DOH COVID-19 Housing Assitance Grants
  • DOH Mortgage Assistance Program
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority Statewide Housing Assistance

“Those financially impacted the hardest will be eligible for Chicago Housing Assistance grant funding that has been set aside for the lowest earners,” the statement reads.

Over $8 million of the funds will go to RAP — a program that seeks combat homelessness by providing rental assistance for tenants in their current residencies for 3 – 6 months. 50% of the funds will go toward households earning less than 15% of the area median income (AMI) with rental assistance for up to 6 months.

The program receive applications through August 10 via the Chicago Housing Portal or at one of the city’s six community centers.

The city’s Housing Assistance Grants will be extended to provide an additional $21.1 million that will go toward Chicagoans’ rent and mortgage payments, as part of an initiative that launched its first wave back in March and saw more than 83,000 citizens apply.

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“Awardees will receive grants between $2,000 and $3,000 based on COVID-related financial hardship and monthly housing costs for Chicagoans making 60% of the AMI or below.”

Furthermore, additional funds will go toward property owners via the DOH Mortgage Assistance Program that which will provide lenders up to $3,300 to compensate for overdue and/or future payments on properties.

The city’s statement reiterates the termination of its eviction moratorium on August 22. As such, the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) through the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Program will provide free defense council for residents earning up to 60% of the AMI through December 20, 2020.

“Assistance from all programs is expected to be awarded through August and September. Rental assistance funding through the online portal will be awarded by a lottery system,” the statement reads.

“The Chicago Housing Assistance program is a part of Mayor Lightfoot’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which spans economic relief measures taken for residents and businesses to ensure a swift and precise all-inclusive response to protect residents in the face of this unprecedented pandemic.”

See also: This New Food Hall Will Feature 12 Minority-Owned Vendors • Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall

[Featured image: @chicagosmayor]