Federal stimulus bill sending $70 million in grants to Chicago for COVID-19 relief programs

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., said grants are for health services, education programs, crime prevention and public safety and services to the homeless and seniors.

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The Illinois National Guard operates a COVID-19 drive-thru test site for medical personnel and first responders March 24 in Chicago.

The Illinois National Guard operates a COVID-19 drive-thru test site for medical personnel and first responders March 24 in Chicago.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Illinois local governments, starved for cash to provide vitally needed COVID-19 related services, will be getting block grants from two federal programs, including about $70 million for Chicago and $36 million for the state of Illinois.

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., working from her apartment in Naperville, said the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — known as the CARES act —gives communities enhanced flexibility to use the new money for COVID-19-related “challenges,” including health services, education programs, crime prevention and public safety and services to the homeless and seniors.

The amounts were announced Wednesday and Thursday. The date the money is delivered is not yet known.

The federal emergency rescue law pours money into two programs to channel funds to states and local governments without requiring red tape or a lengthy application process in this dire emergency.

Community Development Block Grants can be used for a broad range of services. The communities did not have to spell out the projects the money will be used for.

According to the office of Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the city Chicago will get $46,770,307; the state of Illinois, $17,842,842; and CookCounty, $6,420,182.

Other Chicago-area community development grants:

  • Arlington Heights, $164,062
  • Aurora, $902,078
  • Berwyn, $755,917
  • Cicero, $1,001,910
  • Des Plaines, $180,767
  • Elgin, $510,869
  • Evanston, $1,080,243
  • Hoffman Estates, $145,053
  • Joliet, $563,076
  • Kankakee, $345,619
  • Mount Prospect, $154,667
  • Naperville, $315,985
  • Oak Lawn, $180,824
  • Oak Park, $980,107
  • Palatine Village, $303,119
  • Schaumburg, $217,873
  • Skokie, $361,988
  • Waukegan, $470,215
  • DuPage County, $2,294,733
  • Kane County, $796,783
  • Lake County, $1,709,120
  • McHenry County, $830,790
  • Will County, $1,244,264

Emergency Solutions Grants are to help deal with housing problems resulting from the plunging economy and soaring unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

From this pot of federal money, the funds will flow to:

  • Illinois, $18,159,983
  • Chicago, $23,712,993
  • Cicero: $520,731
  • Evanston, $546,424
  • Peoria, $535,321
  • Rockford, $636,693
  • Cook County, $3,049,979
  • DuPage County, $1,031,548
  • Lake County, $777,472
  • Will County, $503,772

A Durbin spokesman said the “funding amounts are determined using existing grant formulas for both CDBG and ESG, which are based on population, poverty, and other community need measures.”

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