Vital Home Repair Program

The Vital Home Repair Program provides forgivable deferred payment loans to eligible Champaign homeowners who need moderate to substantial repairs for deteriorated single-family dwelling units. This program is funded through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund Home Repair Program (HAFHR). Recipients of this program must certify a financial hardship after January 21, 2020, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. City funds provided to households under the Vital Home Repair Program shall not exceed $60,000.

Pre-Application Information

The City will accept pre-applications from March 25, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. to March 29, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. CST. The application time period is now closed.

A lottery system will be utilized to identify the pre-applications that meet all preliminary eligibility requirements and will be invited to submit a complete application. All other pre-applications received during the pre-application period will be held in a pool of alternates. If one of the first 14 drops out or it is determined there are remaining funds, the following alternate pre-applicants will be invited to apply in the order in which they were identified in the lottery.

The application time period is now closed as of 5:00 CST March 29, 2024.

Pre-Application Flyer

FAQ Flyer

  • Eligible activities include moderate to substantial repairs that help the homeowner maintain the home’s habitability.
  • Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • a. Addressing health, safety, and code violations;
    • b. Roofing, soffit/fascia/gutters, drainage and runoff management;
    • c. Electrical and plumbing systems;
    • d. Foundations, existing decks, and existing porches;
    • e. Modifications and improvements for accessibility to allow the elderly or disabled to age in place;
    • f. Environmental modification and improvements;
    • g. “Soft” costs include title search, inspection, recording fees, lead wipes and lab fees, and termite inspection and treatments.
    • h. Other vital and necessary repairs specific to the home’s needs as determined by the City of Champaign.
  • Ineligible activities include:
    • a. Temporary improvements
    • b. Improvements that are for cosmetic purposes only.
    • c. Additions or installations of personal property or fixtures which are not permanently attached.
    • d. Repairs to attached garages. EXCEPTION NOTE:  Some repairs may be made to garages in cases where the repair is a critical part of the overall rehabilitation project, i.e., siding or roofing (attached), required electrical repairs (attached or detached), or where lead paint hazards are present on the garage (attached or detached).


  • Eligible households must have verified income at or below 150% of the area median income.
    Household1 person2 people3 people4 people5 people6 people7 people8 people
    150% AMI$101,550$116,050$130,550$145,050$156,700$168,300$179,900$191,500
  • Eligible households must certify a financial hardship after January 21, 2020, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of financial hardship include reduced hours of employment or wages, loss of employment, responsibilities to care for a family member, increased medical costs, increased childcare costs, increased expenses, death of a loved/one or divorce/separation.
  • Applicant must be current on mortgage payments OR not have a mortgage payment.
  • The home must be located within the incorporated city limits of Champaign and be one of the following:
    • a. Single-family home, which can include an accessory dwelling unit (ADU): a small residence that shares a single-family lot with a larger primary dwelling.
    • b. 2-to-4-unit residential building where the owner lives in one unit (common areas and owner-occupied units are eligible).
    • c. Manufactured home on a permanent foundation.
      * In all the above, the homeowner owns the land, and the property is taxed as real estate.
    • d. Condominium or Cooperative Units.
  • The home’s property value cannot be above the limit set for the county. To determine the property value of the applicant’s property, the City will use the Net Taxable Value of the property from the Champaign County Tax Assessor multiplied by 3.3 to determine the property’s fair market value.
  • For a dwelling unit to qualify for rehabilitation assistance, it must be structurally sound or be capable of being made structurally sound and brought up to existing building codes through rehabilitation within the dollar limits of this program.
  • The structure to be rehabilitated must not be in any redevelopment area designated for clearance.
  • The homeowner must have flood insurance if the property is within the 100-year floodplain. The National Flood Insurance Program requires that if the cost of improvements or the cost to repair the damage exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building, it must be brought up to current floodplain management standards. That means an existing building must meet the requirements for new construction.
  • The homeowner must have homeowner’s insurance for the construction period.
  • The homeowner must accept the placement of the Recapture Agreement on the property and agree to the terms of the Owner Agreement, Promissory Note, and Recapture Agreement
  • The property must conform to the City’s zoning requirements or ordinances. The City’s Zoning Administrator will determine property conformance, if necessary.


  • Properties with reverse mortgages.
  • Investment properties
  • Properties with a home equity line of credit
  • Properties with ownership in trust or under a contract-for-deed
  • Properties primarily used for business (more than 50% of the floor space is used for business.
  • Properties owned by City of Champaign employees.
  • Properties that received City housing rehab assistance from the Minor Home Repair Program, Home Accessibility Retrofit Program, or the Accessory Structure Demolition Program in the past five years and have a mortgage with the City of Champaign are ineligible to apply. Homeowners who received IHDA HAF housing assistance may apply.  If a property previously received a Full Home Improvement grant (up to $25,000 of repairs), the homeowner may not apply.
  • Properties with title must be free of delinquent liens or encumbrances. Payments must be current on all mortgages secured against the title.  The City will verify ownership and lien status by searching title records. In cases of dual ownership (resident + non-resident jointly own the property), additional documentation will be required for review. The applicant must produce documentation proving ownership for the homeowner applying for funding (e.g., coroner’s certificate, probate court judgment, divorce documents, or other relevant material).