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Lightfoot Announces $33M Housing Assistance Grant For Chicagoans Affected By COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Home owners and renters affected by COVID-19 in Chicago will have another chance to apply for city grants with the expansion of the Chicago Housing Assistance program.

The $33 million in grants was announced by the city's Department of Housing and the Department of Family and Support. There's also a new online site to help people apply.

The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act "and the greater philanthropic community," according to the city. It's targeted relief for property owners and renters. It also provides eviction counseling for low to moderate income Chicagoans hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Back in March, we first announced our first round of assistance, which deployed $2 million from the city's Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. This is the response that we got: 83,000 people applied from every neighborhood. For 2,000 available grants. So we know that the demand and the need is still there," Lightfoot said.

In Chicago 83,000 people have applied for the city's housing assistance grant to pay their rents or mortgages. That number is far greater than the amount available and the number of people expected to apply.

According to the city, a minimum 10,000 households can be helped by the grants.

"Housing insecurity is a core symptom of a crushing poverty and economic hardship that has crippled Chicago's families for generations. Now with COVID-19, more families than ever are at risk of losing their homes. If housing used to be the tool for wealth building, we have to tackle our city's racial wealth gap. And that happens by preventing the harm that occurs when you lose your home," the mayor said.

Those interested can apply online by going to the Chicago housing assistance portal. Applications will begin to be received on Monday August 3 at noon and it will be on a first come, first serve basis.

"The first round of COVID-19 Housing Assistance showed us how deep the need is across all neighborhoods in Chicago," said DOH Commissioner Marisa Novara. "We have been working to find additional resources to assist those financially impacted by the pandemic, and these new funds will go a long way in stabilizing the lives of residents during these challenging times."


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