City Accepting Pre-Applications for New Housing Repair Program

From March 25 through March 29, 2024, eligible Champaign homeowners can pre-apply for the City of Champaign’s new Vital Home Repair Program, which could pay for up to $60,000 of improvements to the resident’s home at no cost to the homeowner. The Vital Home Repair Program provides forgivable deferred payment loans to eligible applicants needing moderate to substantial home repairs to address health and safety issues and code violations. Possible repairs include roofing, electrical and plumbing systems, foundations, existing decks and porches, environmental modifications, and improvements needed to improve a home’s accessibility so the elderly or those with disabilities can age in place.

Pre-applications can be submitted through the City’s website ( or in person at the Neighborhood Services Department, 205 W. Park Avenue. The amount of funding available for this program is limited. After March 29, residents who submitted pre-applications and met all preliminary eligibility requirements will be entered into a lottery drawing. The lottery will be used to select a limited number of residents who will then be invited to submit a full application. The lottery will also be used to select a pool of alternates who may be invited to participate if there are remaining project funds.

To qualify, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements, including being able to certify a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic after January 21, 2020, and earning at or below 150% of the Area Median Income based on household size. For example, a four-person household would need to earn less than $145,050 per year to meet this program’s income requirement. The complete list of eligibility requirements are posted on the City’s website.

Neighborhood Programs Manager Jennifer Carlson stated, “Two great benefits of the Vital Home Repair Program are the higher assistance and income requirements. Other assistance programs cap repair amounts at $15,000 per property and have an income limit of 80% Median Family Income. This new program will allow the City to assist homeowners that don’t meet eligibility requirements under existing housing rehab programs.”

The Illinois Housing Development Authority provided funding for the City’s Vital Home Repair Program. The City of Champaign was recently awarded a $1 million grant through the Housing and Homeowner Assistance Fund Home Repair Program, which was established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The City was one of only 16 municipalities in the state to receive funding from this competitive grant.

To learn more about the program or to apply, visit or call the Neighborhood Services Department at 217-403-7070.