Aquino: Help is on the way for people experiencing housing instability, small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and civil unrest

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CHICAGO – A comprehensive relief package aimed at supporting working families, small businesses, and communities heavily impacted by COVID-19 and civil unrest will be available soon, announced State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago).

Aquino was key in the negotiations on behalf of the Latino Caucus to assemble a $900 million funding package, along with the Black Caucus, the Asian Caucus, and the Pritzker administration.

“This package will support over 100,000 people suffering from the downfall of the COVID-19 pandemic who experience housing instability, small businesses going through financial hardship, and Illinois residents suffering from exacerbated poverty,” Aquino said. “This funding will be used strategically to heal our communities, especially those heavily impacted by the health emergency.”

The Illinois Housing Development Authority will launch a $5,000 grant program to provide emergency rental assistance to 30,000 renters impacted by the pandemic, as well as grants of up to $15,000 to assist 10,000 homeowners with mortgage payments.

“People who lost their income due to COVID-19 deserve the opportunity to keep a place they can call home,” Aquino said. “I say to the many people wondering if they will have a place to keep their families safe: help is on the way.”

Among other programs, the fund will provide resources to alleviate poverty, including more money for senior citizens in need of meals, groceries, medicine, and medical care.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will make available $240 million in grants for small businesses that have been restricted or completely shut down during the health crisis. Finally, DCEO will provide $25 million to assist businesses affected by civil unrest prioritizing small businesses, women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and underinsured or uninsured establishments with a high community impact. Applications should be available here starting June 23.

More information will be available in the coming weeks.

Sen. Omar Aquino

Senator Omar Aquino

2nd Senate District
Majority Caucus Whip

Years served: 2016 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I (Vice-Chairperson); Appropriations II; Education; Government Accountability/Pensions; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Subcommittee on Charter Schools; Labor (Chairperson); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born and raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago; B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology, Loyola University Chicago; Bilingual Case Manager at Central West Case Management Unit at the Jane Addams School of Social Work; Legislative Assistant in the Illinois House of Representatives; Outreach Coordinator for Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth; Devoted to improving education, aging services and human services.

Associated Representatives::
Luis Arroyo
Delia C. Ramirez