Housing Relief Targets Multi-Family Property Owners in Chicago

The Emergency Relief for Affordable Multifamily Properties Program is designed to keep multi-family property owners from entering default.

May 27, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Chicago Public Housing

Concrete Imaging / Shutterstock

Jared Brey reports on the Emergency Relief for Affordable Multifamily Properties Program (ERAMP) in Chicago, a new relief program designed to provide relief to renters during the economic downturn of the pandemic.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara announced $3 million for the program in April. "The program would offer grants or no-interest loans of up to $75,000 meant to keep multifamily properties that include affordable units from defaulting on mortgages and going into foreclosure," reports Brey.

The program's support for landlords supplements the city's existing grant program for tenants, which both use funding from the same source: the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, described by Brey as "the inclusionary zoning program that requires developers to include affordable housing in new multifamily developments or else pay a fee to the city’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund."

"In order to receive a grant, property owners would be prohibited from evicting any tenants for at least the rest of the year," according to Brey, citing an earlier article on the program by Heather Cherone. 

The grants come with the additional constraint of being made available to "projects that have received support from the city previously and that provide affordable units under a covenant," according to Brey, so some advocates are calling for support for property owners of affordable multi-family rental buildings that haven't received support from the city in the past.

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