Hundreds of Chicago-Area Families to Receive $15K for Down Payment on Home

In total, $8 million in down payment grants will be handed out Friday and Saturday

Hundreds of Chicago-area families will have the chance to get a $15,000 down payment grant to help them buy a home.

The 2018 NeighborhoodLIFT program for Cook County will give more than 400 families the free down payment grant to boost home ownership in the county during a two-day event at the McCormick Convention Center’s grand ballroom this week.

In total, $8 million in down payment grants will be handed out Friday and Saturday.

To be eligibile, recipients must have annual incomes that do not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income, or $67,700 for up to a family of four in Cook County.

Veterans, serve members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians can earn up to 100 percent of the local area median income, which is about $84,600, according to organizers. That will reserve them a $17,500 down payment assistance grant.

Eligibility requirements and documents needed to apply

Homebuyers who are approved for the grant then have up to 60 days to finalize a contract on a home in Cook County. They must commit to living in the home for at least five years, according to the eligibility requirements. They can also obtain mortgage financing from a participating lender.

The first grants were set to be awarded Friday morning, but others interested can attend the event as “walk-ins” and get in line for grant consideration.

“We are ready to assist Cook County families and provide homebuyer education and down payment assistance to help them achieve successful and sustainable homeownership,” Kristin Faust, president of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, said in a statement. “This unique program both prepares people for homeownership and can also help overcome the barrier of coming up with a sufficient down payment.”

This isn’t the first time such an event has come to Chicago. In 2012, the Chicago LIFT program dished out $10 million to help 547 homebuyers with down payment assistance grants.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 2301 S. King Dr. in Chicago. 

If you're planning to attend, here's what you'll need:

  • Gross income amount for borrowers, including primary, second and part-time jobs, as well as overtime, bonuses and commissions
  • 60 days’ pay stubs with year-to-date information for all jobs
  • Proof of any and all other income received, such as Social Security Award letter, retirement and/or pension income, unemployment income, death or disability payments, divorce/court decree for alimony and/or child support, etc.
  • Federal tax returns for the past two years (1040s)
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Recent two (2) months of personal bank statements; self-employed applicants should also bring recent two (2) months of business bank statements
  • Current Profit and Loss Statement for self-employed individuals

For more on eligibility requirements and the documents needed to apply click here

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