While looking for my next professional gig, it was my honor and privilege to work with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago to help them draw attention to a wonderful down payment assistance program event. We got tons of media exposure which ensured that many area families who want to become homeowners had an opportunity to apply.
Hundreds of Cook County residents who wanted to become homeowners lined up at McCormick Place to apply for $15,000 grants to help with down payments.
$8 million in grant money is being invested in this program in Chicago to help those who want to become homeowners in low to moderate income neighborhoods. It’s seen as one way to combat violence and crime in at-risk communities.
The money is provided by Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program, but eligibility is determined by my client, nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.
To qualify for a down payment assistance grant, annual income cannot exceed $67,700 for up to a family of four. Veterans, teachers, and first responders can receive $17,500.
I was struck by the incredible back-stories of those seeking to receive a grant. One young man shared that he and his siblings became homeless, living on the streets, after his mother’s sudden death five years ago He received one of the $15,000 grants and soon will become a homeowner, forever changing his life’s story. Another, a single-mother of three young children and an elementary school teacher, shared that after a difficult divorce one year ago, she was struggling financially, with a credit score in the low 200’s. Her landlord told her that he would be selling the home in which she and her children lived within the year. Upon hearing this news, she buckled down, worked hard to improve her credit, and today received a $17,500 down payment grant that will go towards purchasing her landlord’s home. Another woman told me that one year ago her husband of 15 years died suddenly, leaving her without a steady income, in debt, and facing uncertainty. Today, because of the down payment grant, she will purchase a home one block from her daughter’s home, where she will begin the next chapter in her life.
Check out some of the incredible stories shared by Chicago media: