Understanding the Impacts of Emergency Housing Grants on Housing Stability

Public health measures instituted in response to the novel coronavirus have resulted in unprecedented increases in unemployment. This mass unemployment will leave many already rent-burdened Chicagoans unable to pay for housing. While the closure of eviction courts and moratoria on the execution of eviction orders will prevent immediate displacement, these measures may simply delay the inevitable for many families. In response, the City of Chicago Department of Housing (DOH) partnered with the Family Independence Initiative (FII) to launch the Covid-19 Housing Assistance Grant, which provided over 1,600 unconditional grants of $1,000 to impacted Chicagoans. This rapid and large-scale investment was unprecedented for DOH and was immediately seen as a model by other cities. The Inclusive Economy Lab has partnered with DOH and FII to better understand the impact of this investment on formal eviction, homeless shelter entry, build-up of rental arrears and other debt. Because grants were administered via an open lottery and through DOH delegate non-profit agencies, the launch of this program offers an opportunity to learn about the impact of the grants, as well as about how different communities in Chicago access resources

RFP Cycle:
SPRI Off Cycle RFP [2020]
United States of America
  • Full project