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COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant – FAQ      Download PDF

Who qualifies for the grant?

This grant program is intended for Chicago residents who have been impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19, including people who have lost their jobs through layoff or furlough, as well as people who have retained their jobs but have had their hours or wages severely reduced. Applicant must also be 18 years of age or over, or a financially independent minor.

Is there an income requirement?

Eligible Chicagoans must demonstrate that their household was at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to their change in employment status (due to the crisis) in order to receive the grant. For instance, if you live in a household with four people, to meet the income eligibility requirements, your total household income would have to be at or below $53,460. Use the chart below to determine your income eligibility. First, find the number of people in your household and then look below at the maximum total income allowable for the size of your household.

City of Chicago Area Median Income (AMI) Chart (as of April 1, 2019):

Size of HH 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person4 Person5 Person6 Person7 Person8 Person
60% Area Median Income
Size of HH 60% Area Median Income
1 Person
2 Person
3 Person
4 Person
5 Person
6 Person
7 Person
8 Person

Do I have to be diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus to be eligible to receive the grant?

Being diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus is not a requirement to receive this grant. The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant is meant to assist Chicagoans who have experienced a loss of employment or reduction in income (after March 1, 2020) due to COVID-19 outbreak and government mandated sheltering place orders. If you have experienced a loss of income due to having to self-quarantine because you were exposed to or contracted the virus, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant.

Can every member of the household apply for grant?

Only one (1) grant per household/address will be awarded.

I am on a fixed income. Do I qualify?

Residents on a fixed income do not qualify for this program. The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant is meant to assist Chicagoans who have experienced a loss of employment or reduction in income (after March 1, 2020) due to COVID-19.

What about people with non-traditional jobs such as freelancers, temporary workers, on-demand workers, event-based workers (e.g. people in arts and entertainment), independent contractors, those in cash employment roles, etc.?

The NHS team is dedicated to processing applications in a personal manner and will work with you to verify any documentation you are able to provide to determine your eligibility. All applicants must make best efforts to demonstrate their eligibility for the program, including those with non-traditional employment situations.

Are you having a lottery to determine who receives the grants?

Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis based on receipt of a complete set of proof of eligibility documents. What is the process for receiving my grant money?

What is the process for receiving my grant money?

The grant money will be direct deposited into your bank account once you redeem your grant code online. During the redemption process, you must provide the name of the account holder, bank routing number and account number. The deposit will take approximately 3 days. If you need help redeeming your grant code, please call our Digital Help Desk at 773.329.4040.

I do not have a bank account. Can I still receive the grant?

Yes. You have a several choices if you are verified as eligible to receive the grant. NHS can help you set up a bank account at a bank of your choice, a PayPal account, or a CashApp account to receive your direct deposit, if approved for the grant. Then you will receive a direct deposit into your new account. If you do not want to open a new account or for some reason are unable to have funds automatically deposited into an existing account, NHS will generate and mail a check to you for the full grant amount. You should receive a check in the mail within 7-10 days. To receive a check in the mail, please call 773.329.4040 and ask for our Digital Help Desk. Please have your grant code available.