In our efforts to maintain affordable housing options and manage conscientious neighborhood development, we actively listen to local businesses and neighbors about what matters. We address needed infrastructure repairs through our participatory budgeting program as part of an integrated effort to support and improve the quality of life for everyone in the 40th Ward. All Chicagoans deserve to live in safe, stable, and pleasant neighborhoods.
The Department of Housing can assist with finding affordable housing and resolving issues with landlords. In addition, we recommend that if you are facing a difficulty with your landlord or housing situation you contact our office. We can help connect you to resources, programs and organizations that help as well as provide mediation for conflicts.
Tenants Rights and Rental Assistance
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), City of Chicago
- Metropolitan Tenants Organization, https://www.tenants-rights.org/
- Rentervention is a free resource for Chicago renters facing housing issues. Tenants can go to www.rentervention.com or text “hi” to 866-7-RENTER to start a conversation with Renny, Rentervention’s bot, for help with evictions, utility shutoffs, problems with security deposits, and issues with housing conditions.
- One Northside is a community organization offering services including housing advocacy and consultation on housing issues. Call their triage line for assistance at 773-657-8700.
- Preservation Compact Resources for Tenants – a collection of information and direct financial resource links by The Preservation Compact, including emergency homelessness prevention resources and contacts.
- Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) provides pre-eviction assistance to renters whose utilities have been illegally shut off, have been locked out of their homes by the landlord, or experienced other serious life-threatening issues.
- Service Animals and Fair Housing Guidance: “Individuals with a disability may request to keep an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation to a housing provider’s pet restrictions.”
Property Tax Exemptions
If you own and live in a home, townhome, or condominium unit for which you pay property taxes, you can apply for an exemption that will lower the assessed value of your property, and more than likely your total property tax bill.
- Property Tax Exemptions – information for homeowners, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities via the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance
This ordinance allows owners of residential properties to add basement, attic, or coach house units, provided they meet all building and safety code requirements. Owners of larger properties will be able to add multiple accessory dwelling units if 50% are dedicated as affordable housing. Learn about ADU program requirements and pilot areas.
Home and Business Protection Program (HBPP)
The City’s Home and Business Protection Program (HBPP) helps Chicago residents and business owners obtain tools needed to protect their property and feel safe. Apply for the home security rebate program or apply for security devices at no cost based on your income. Applicants who are interested in aiding the Chicago Police Department (CPD) during criminal investigations have the option to register their camera system. Registering your equipment is NOT required to apply for the rebate program.
Resources for Home and Property Owners
The State of Illinois is providing emergency housing assistance to help renters and homeowners maintain stable, affordable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit: https://www.illinoishousinghelp.org/
- Spanish Coalition for Housing – Assistance for homeowners, first-time home buyers, landlords and renters
- COVID-19 Mortgage Relief – Chicago Volunteer Legal Services can provide free legal aid to help you access mortgage relief available to homeowners affected by COVID-19
- COVID HELP (Housing and Economic Loss Prevention) – A statewide initiative to provide no-cost legal guidance and representation to Illinoisans experiencing common legal problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois residents can access free legal assistance 24/7.
- Legal Aid Chicago provides free legal services for a wide range of issues impacting low-income communities, elderly, people with disabilities, veterans, and homeowners
- Resources for landlords – emergency relief, technical assistance, additional resources for landlords owning 2-4 Units.
- Department of Housing, Homebuyers – programs and services for prospective home buyers
In partnership with the City’s Department of Health and Department of Family and Support Services, the 40th Ward Office seeks to put former motels and other available building stock to use as safe, supervised housing and shelter services for the unhoused.
Housing Insecurity Resources
- Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) – Along with shelter CCO provides meals to residents, a food bag program, and free donated clothing to our residents.
- Bring Chicago Home – Learn more about the proposed ordinance to restructure the one-time Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) and get involved. Properties under $1 million would not receive a tax increase, on average only 4.2% of properties would be impacted. This ordinance would generate over $150 million per year to help fight homelessness.
- Chicago Housing Assistance Portal – The Department of Housing and the Department of Family and Support Services Intake Form for housing cost assistance (this is a lottery based program)
Utility Bill Relief
The City of Chicago provides utility relief programs to assist residents being disconnected from their water, gas and/or electric service.
- Utility Bill Relief (UBR) and LIHWAP – provides low-income City of Chicago residents with a reduced rate on their water, sewer, and water-sewer tax as well as debt relief options.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.
If you need help paying off a large or past-due balance, please call your respective utility and state your financial hardship verbally:
- ComEd (electricity) – 1-800-334-7661
- Peoples Gas (gas) – 1-866-556-6001
Additional resources and support:
- Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Help Center – provides financial resources, alternative supplier information, efficiency and safety tips. If you have a complaint or question about your utility service, call the toll-free CUB hotline at 1-800-669-5556 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday), or file a complaint online.
- CEDA – nonprofit – Providing energy assistance, weatherization support and more.
News & Updates: Housing
Contact the 40th Ward Office
Our office works to ensure you feel supported, connected, and valued. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have – we are here to help!