Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Tuesday that the city will ask to appropriate $1.13 billion funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to various areas across Chicago.
The appropriations aim to provide assistance and supports for residents throughout the city who are struggling from the impacts of COVID-19, which includes homelessness, homeowners, renters, small businesses and those in need of various health resources.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on residents throughout the city, and it has caused even greater, disproportionate damage to the many communities that are already struggling from historic disinvestment,” Lightfoot said. “The federal support from the CARES Act provides needed resources for services and programs to assist those who have been most severely impacted by the coronavirus, and while this funding is a good start, more help is needed as we rebuild our city from the damage caused by the virus.”
City officials said that according to federal guidance, the CARES Act grant funding must be directed to COVID-related eligible costs, which includes both immediate health expenses and programs that provide services that many residents need as a result of the pandemic's economic impact.
CARES Act grants total $1,130,724,000, and proposed appropriations include funding allocated for:
- Airport Assistance: $376,744,000
- Public Health Response: $189,346,000
- Homeless Services: $39,602,270
- Small Business Assistance: $35,000,000
- Housing Assistance: $16,500,000
- Community Healthcare Infrastructure: $11,000,000
- Workforce Assistance: $10,000,000
- Violence Prevention: $10,000,000
- Mental Health: $10,000,000
- Senior Assistance: $10,505,420
- Food Assistance: $4,510,501
- Broadband Initiative: $5,000,000
- Housing for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS: $1,539,000
- Human Services: $259,270
- Domestic Violence: $207,000
- COVID-19 Direct Response: $410,510,539
Lightfoot's announcement came as the city announced a potential $700 million 2020 budget shortfall.
"While this budget shortfall is grim, what would have been worse is if we had seen more people die ... if we hadn't sheltered in place," Lightfoot said.
City officials said the decline in revenues are from a combination of economically sensitive areas including the amusement tax, hotel tax, parking tax and restaurant tax.
“The City is thankful to have additional federal funding support to offset the costs we have incurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chicago Budget Director Susie Park said. “These grants will have a huge impact not only in helping the City to pay for the necessary health response, but with the approval from the Budget Committee, it will also help the City to allocate resources into the neighborhoods that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”