Step by Step Guide to Help you get a Home Repair Grants in Illinois

– Illinois Home Repair Grants –

Are you in dire need of a mortgage payment or Illinois Home Repair Grants or faced with an unexpected repair expense? Don’t worry! We are here to guide you with home repair grants.

Illinois Home Repair Grants:

Principal Reduction in Payments

Illinois Hardest Hit Program

Illinois Hardest Hit Program provides up to $35,000 in free assistance to Illinois homeowners who have experienced an income reduction of at least 15% due to a qualifying hardship event.

Qualifying events include;

  • unemployment,
  • underemployment,
  • decrease or loss of business income,
  • loss of income due to a disability,
  • divorce or death of a spouse.

The event must have occurred after January 1, 2010, and after the property’s purchase date. Other criteria, including asset and income limits, apply.


I-Refi is an Illinois program that helps homeowners who owe more than the home is worth. You could receive up to $50,000 in assistance to reduce your mortgage principal and refinance into a new affordable loan. For a list of I-Refi lenders, visit the IHDA website.

Lake County

Lake County residents can use foreclosure prevention services from the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County. This agency provides free foreclosure assistance services, including education, counseling, mediation and legal stays.

They may also be able to help you access the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund Program. This provides up to $35,000 in free assistance to Illinois homeowners who have experienced an income reduction.

Foreclosure Prevention Events

Foreclosure Prevention Events around Illinois help homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. These workshops provide information on foreclosure prevention programs, housing counseling, legal assistance, and debt management.

Home Improvement And Repairs

Community Contacts Inc.

Community Contacts Inc. serves homeowners in Kane, DeKalb, and DuPage counties. This program provides weatherization assistance, housing rehabilitation, and more.

Their weatherization services can assist you with adding insulation, checking detectors, and air sealing the home. Also by providing other energy efficiency improvements. The Housing Rehabilitation Program can provide up to $30,000 toward your home improvement needs!

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together assists with repairs through its network in Aurora, Henry County, and Metro Chicago. They also assist with repairs in Metropolis, North Suburban Chicago, Peoria, and Southwest Illinois.

They offer volunteer services on designated Rebuilding Days. Certain branches also feature Safe at Home year-round repairs for seniors and other services

The Wabash Independent Living and Learning Center serves Clay, Owen, Park, Putnam, Vermillion and Vigo Counties. They can assist with wheelchair ramps.


Additional Assistance Programs Offered by Cities and Counties

Additional Assistance Programs Offered by Cities and Counties

Adams County

Adams County is served by the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials. They assist with home weatherization, housing rehabilitation, and other emergency services for low-income families.

Brown County

Brown County is served by the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials. They assist with home weatherization, housing rehabilitation, and other emergency services for low-income families.


Aurora has a Home program that may be able to offer foreclosure prevention services to homeowners who need help.


Champaign offers many programs for low income homeowners who need some help.

Accessibility Structure Demolition Program

The Accessibility Structure Demolition Program helps low income homeowners demolish dilapidated and dangerous accessory structures on their property.

Garages, sheds, and fences that pose safety risks can be demolished using these funds. The program awards assistance in a grant or forgivable deferred loan, depending on the amount required.

Full Home Improvement Program

The Full Home Improvement Program provides grants and low interest loans to eligible Champaign homeowners who reside in certain neighborhoods. This program funds repairs for deteriorated dwellings who need moderate to substantial repair.

To qualify, you must live in a specified target area and meet income limits. You could receive a maximum of $30,000 through this program!

Home Accessibility Retrofit Program (HARP)

The Home Accessibility Retrofit Program provides grants to eligible homeowners who need to improve the accessibility of their homes. This is done by modifying the layout, adding structural features like wheelchair ramps, or eliminating barriers.

This program provides “visitability” modifications to help homes be more accessible for immediate family members with disabilities who visit the property.

Minor Home Repair Program

They provide grants and forgivable deferred loans to Champaign homeowners who need immediate assistance with problems that threaten the health or safety of the occupants.

Repairs are capped at $5,000 (or $8,000 for roof and sewer line repairs).

Residential Exterior Rehabilitation Program

The Residential Exterior Rehabilitation Program provides a 50/50 matching grant or zero-interest loan that can be used to repair or beautify the outside of your home.

You can use the funds for fencing, walkways, driveways, roofing, siding, windows, and other improvements that are visible from the street. To qualify, your home must be located in a designated Target Neighborhood and you must meet income requirements.

As of February 2018, Target Neighborhoods included Douglass Park, Beardsley Park, Garwood, Garden Park, and Garden Hills.


Chicago offers several programs for low income homeowners. To qualify, you must meet income and other requirements. Each program’s requirements may vary.

Emergency Heating Repair Program

The Emergency Heating Repair Program runs from November 1st to April 1st of each year. To participate, you must own a home in Chicago that is habitable, occupied, and not at risk of foreclosure.

You must be income eligible. If you sell, move or otherwise transfer the title of the property within one year of the assistance, you will be required to pay a pro-rated amount toward the repairs.

Green Bungalow Program

The Green Bungalow Program assists owners who own historic homes in Chicago. This program provides grants of up to $5,000 for rehabilitation and $4,000 for energy efficiency upgrades.

They can also provide how-to seminars, incentives, and other resources for owners of historic Chicago bungalows.

Roof and Porch Repair Program

The Roof and Porch Repair Program offers assistance on a lottery basis. You must register on certain dates. The registrations will be entered in a random lottery drawing.

Winners will be notified by mail. Keep tabs on the City of Chicago Planning and Development page for updates on the next registration period.

Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS)

Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS) can perform minor repairs and disability modifications for seniors.

These may include door repair, wheelchair ramp installation, grab bar installation, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector checks, and more. Renters can participate in this program with permission from a landlord.


Decatur can provide grants up to $5,000 toward repairs. The repairs must be life-threatening or related to sanitation. Examples of qualifying repairs include hot water heater replacement, electrical repairs, or furnace replacement.


DeKalb sets aside funding for emergency repairs for low income homeowners. These funds can be used for sewer replacement, roof repairs, water heater replacements, electrical upgrades, and more.

This Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Program has income and property requirements.

The City of Dekalb also participates in a Housing Rehabilitation Volunteer Assistance program. This program can provide yard cleanup, landscaping, painting, weatherization projects, and more depending on volunteer availability.


Evanston offers rehabilitation loans to residents who need to improve their homes due to health, safety or accessibility concerns.

The funds can also be used to improve energy. provide elements that will lengthen the useful life of the structure.

Lake County

Lake County is served by the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County. This agency offers several home repair grants and loans that can assist low income homeowners who are facing expenses.

Life Systems Grant

You could receive up to $40,000 to repair or improve systems and structures such as the roof, foundation, plumbing, electric, and other systems.

This is a zero interest loan with no monthly payments that are forgiven after 5-10 years on the home (depending on how much funding you receive). This grant is not available to Waukegan residents, since Waukegan has its own program.


Waukegan offers funds to help with emergency repairs and substantial rehabilitation. Emergency assistance is available immediately for repairs that threaten the health or safety of the home. They include;

  • dangerous electric installations,
  • inoperable furnaces,
  • leaking roofs or sewer lines that don’t drain.

St. Clair County

St. Clair County offers grants, loans, and forgivable loans to assist with the rehabilitation of your home. Accessibility grants can provide up to $5,000 to modify a home so that it is more accessible for disabled residents.

Emergency grants can provide up to $5,000 to help families fix health or safety hazards in the home, such as roofing, electricity, plumbing, and heating.

The forgivable loan program can help correct and repair interior and exterior systems that pose health and safety hazards.

The Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program can provide up to $24,000 at 2.5 percent interest for low and moderate-income earners who need to rehabilitate their homes.

Schuyler County

Schuyler County is served by the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials. They assist with home weatherization, housing rehabilitation, and other emergency services for low income families.


Rockford may provide forgivable loans of up to $25,000 to help you improve your home! They can also provide grants to help you connect with city water.

Pike County is served by the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials.  This assists with home weatherization, housing rehabilitation, and other emergency services for low income families.


Assist with repairs that cost less than $5,000, as long as those repairs are for the home to remain habitable.

Acceptable repairs include a broken furnace, hot water heater, or a lack of running water in the home. They also have a program that can assist with roof repair. This program only helps 20 people per year who are selected in a random lottery drawing from eligible applicants.


Normal has a Homeowner’s Emergency Repair and Accessibility Program. They can help low income homeowners fix major life, health, and safety issues in their homes. To apply, you need to contact PATH Inc.

Mount Prospect

Mount Prospect offers a Handyman Program for seniors. This program provides reduced-cost handyman services to seniors (age 60+ years) who need minor home repairs. Repairs specifically in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows.

The Handyman Program can help with grab bar installation, curtain hanging, toilet repair, changing locks and screen repair. They also help with sink repair, tacking carpet, cleaning gutters, hanging pictures, and more.

The work is done by reliable, insured professionals. There is a sliding scale cost based on income. In some cases, there may not be any fee at all. In other cases, the work may cost $10, $20, or $30 per hour.


Moline assists low income home buyers with emergency repairs, such as water line breaks, sewer line breaks, and inoperable furnaces. You will need to meet income and other criteria to receive assistance.

McHenry County

It offers $3,000 or more toward home repairs that are needed to improve the health, and safety of your home. For more information, visit the McHenry County Housing Authority website. They can also coordinate weatherization services.

Madison County

Madison County can help low income disabled homeowners install accessibility ramps.

Amortized Loan

This option provides up to $10,000 to make all kinds of systems, accessibility, and aesthetic improvements to the home. The loan has a 3 percent interest rate and must be paid monthly. The term cannot exceed 10 years.

Accessibility Grant

You could receive up to $17,000 to make your home accessible to residents who are disabled or have limited mobility. This zero interest loan has no monthly payments and is fully forgiven after 5-10 years in the home.


Bottom Line 

Low income homeowners in Illinois have a hard time meeting their mortgage payments. If you are at risk of foreclosure because you’re struggling to make your housing payment, these programs can help you!

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