Chicago/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 17, 2024
Cook County Launches Groundbreaking Housing Assistance and Modular Home Programs to Ease Affordability CrisisSource: Unsplash/Tierra Mallorca

In a significant move to tackle the housing affordability crisis, Cook County's Board of Commissioners has given the green light to two pioneering housing programs aimed at giving a leg up to residents struggling to acquire their own homes in today's tough market. The initiative, fueled by the American Rescue Plan Act funds, targets both assistance for potential buyers and an innovative approach to home construction.

According to the Cook County Government, Cook County has set aside $3 million for a program that will help with down payments, closing costs, or mortgage buydowns. Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, underlined the urgency by stating, "This new down payment assistance pilot will help home buyers navigate a grueling housing market." Speaking to the critical need for investment in historically neglected communities, she notes that the pilot for modular homes will deliver much-needed new housing options.

The down payment initiative is set to start in early June and will offer subsidies of $20,000 or 5 percent of the home purchase price, whichever is less. Those looking to purchase in a Disproportionately Impacted Area will automatically qualify, with eligibility extending to buyers earning up to 120 percent of the county's median income, as per the Cook County Government. The program is open to various types of properties, provided they become the applicant's main place of residence.

Meanwhile, clubbing together $12 million, the modular homes program is set to breathe new life into select communities. The Cook County Land Bank Authority, in partnership with the Bureau of Economic Development, will see up to 120 homes constructed in the Chicago neighborhood of Humboldt Park, and suburbs of Maywood and Chicago Heights. These homes are touted for their ability to materialize from vacant lots to fully owned residences in just four weeks.

Those interested in applying for either program can find additional details and criteria on the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development website.

Chicago-Real Estate & Development