delinqu prop taxes 083021CHICAGO – The Northwest Home Equity Program will have the ability to provide low- or no-interest home assistance loans to homeowners struggling to make their property tax payments under a new law signed today, the result of legislation by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).

“We need to use every tool at our disposal to help homeowners who are at risk of default, especially in light of a historically difficult year that has affected everyone’s finances,” Pacione-Zayas said. “With this legislation, homeowners on the Northwest side will get the additional assistance they need to help pay their property taxes.”

In Cook County, there are more than 52,000 properties whose delinquent taxes would be sold to investors if the tax sale were held. For almost half those properties, owners owe less than $1,000. Those who cannot afford to pay their property taxes are at risk of losing their homes.

Under the new law, the Northwest Home Equity Program would be able to create a new type of assistance loan modeled after loans it already issues for things like home improvements and foreclosure prevention. The purpose of the new assistance loan would be to help homeowners avoid becoming delinquent on their property taxes.

“Homeowners now have the opportunity to secure a 0% loan instead of a high interest predatory loan to help save their home. This gives us additional tools to combat displacement. We need to cultivate as many new tools as possible to keep residents in their homes,” said Ernie Lukasik, a housing organizer with the Northwest Side Housing Center. “The community is grateful to State Representative Eva Dina Delgado and State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas for championing this cause and bringing this legislation to fruition.”

The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2022.