Chicago Moves To Help Residents Struggling With Housing Insecurity

All around the country people are struggling, the economy has taken a massive hit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and life is even harder for millions of Americans who are already living paycheck to paycheck. For so many people, losing even a single week’s paycheck can be financially devastating. With so many businesses forced to lay off employees, many people are terrified that they are looking at not being able to pay their bills or to feed their families. One of the things that may be causing severe stress for plenty of people is the thought of housing insecurity. The city of Chicago is trying to help residents to help alleviate some of the pressure facing them during this chaotic time.


Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, made an announcement this week that 2,000 grants of $1,000 each would be made available in early to mid-April to help with rent or mortgage payments. This 2 million in funds will come from an existing program that the city of Chicago already has: The Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. The funding for this current program comes from developers building affordable housing.

Here’s how this works:

Chicago residents who want to apply for this program can apply through the Chicago Department of Housing, or online through local community organizations. To be eligible for this assistance, applicants must show that job or income loss from COVID-19 and prove that your income is at or below 60% of the city’s median income. The city of Chicago’s median income for a family of four is currently at $54,000.

An exciting aspect of this program is the way that recipients for these funds will be chosen. Half of these grants will be awarded through a lottery system, with the other half going to be distributed by community organizations located throughout the city.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot had this to say about the grants to be distributed to struggling residents:

Due to the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 crisis, we have a responsibility as a city to support of our residents and families during their urgent time of need, This program represents a critical resource not only to our communities but our entire city as we navigate this evolving challenge and ensure every Chicagoan remains safe, healthy and secure.”

GrantWatch is committed to helping ensure that nonprofits have the proper information about grants that have been made available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our team is consistently updating this list to reflect any updates available. 

Libby Hikind

Libby Hikind is the founder and CEO of and the author of "The Queen of Grants: From Teacher to Grant Writer to CEO". Libby Hikind, began her grant writing career while working as a teacher in the New York City Department of Education. She wrote many grants for her classroom before raising millions for a Brooklyn school district. Throughout her professional career, she established her own grant writing agency in Staten Island with a fax newsletter for her clients of available grants. After retiring from teaching, Libby embraced the new technology and started GrantWatch. She then moved GrantWatch and her grant writing agency to Florida to enjoy her parents later years, and the rest is history. Today more than 230,000 people visit online, monthly.