Lightfoot's New Housing Solidarity Plan Offers Financial Solutions To Help Ease Rent, Mortgage Pains

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at Wrigley Field on April 16, 2020 in Chicago Illinois.
Photo credit Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot announced a new housing solidarity plan to ease the financial pain for many who feel burdened by the pressure to pay rent during the pandemic that has left thousands without income. 

The Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge is an effort to provide relief to troubled tenants and building owners negatively impacted by the coronavirus disease, the city said Wednesday. Lightfoot partnered with more than 10 banks and credit unions, housing lenders and landlord associations who all pledge to help residents through this tough time by providing grace periods to rent and mortgages, no late fees and deferred payment relief options to eligible renters and mortgage holders. 

“The Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge represents our city’s shared commitment to our residents and building owners alike whose homes and livelihoods have come under threat as a result of this crisis," said Mayor Lightfoot in a press release. "I am extremely proud that renters, landlords, homeowners, and lenders have all come to the table to work in partnership for our city and develop strong solutions to our shared challenges.”

Under the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge, Chicago’s landlords affirm they may provide one or more of the following for eligible renters who demonstrate a significant financial impact resulting from COVID-19:

  • Grace Period for Rent Payments: Offer deferred payments with repayment terms that avoid repayment at the end of the deferral period.
  • Written Repayment Plan: Permit renters with a missed rent payment to amortize the payments over time.
  • No Late Fees for Missed Payments: Provide relief from rent-related late fees.

For those with a mortgage, housing lenders agree they may provide the following for eligible mortgage holders who demonstrate a significant financial impact:

  • Grace Period for Mortgage Payments: Offer deferred payments with repayment terms that avoid immediate repayment at the end of the deferral period.
  • Suspension of Foreclosures: Provide relief from foreclosure filing until May 31, 2020.
  • Neutral Reporting to Credit Agencies: No reporting late payments to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for residential borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19 related relief, provided that loans that were delinquent prior to deferral will continue to be reported as delinquent.
  • No Late Fees for Missed Payments: Provide relief from mortgage-related fees.

Banks and institutions part of the pledge include BMO Harris Bank, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, PNC, The Departing of Housing, Lawyers Committee for Better Housing, the Chicagoland Apartment Association, Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance and more. 

“Chicagoans impacted by the coronavirus are facing many extraordinary challenges and financial difficulties,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market president for Bank of America. “We support the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge and remain committed to helping clients get the support they need to get through this crisis.”