I was tossing around the idea of blogging about this today. See, there’s this "lottery" that anyone who meets certain guidelines and owns a residential property in Chicago can enter to get assistance with repairing or replacing a roof or porch. You can only put in your name once a year and they hold a lottery to draw names. I had heard whispers about this program for years but I NEVER hear a story of someone (or even someone who knew someone who knew someone) who actually benefited.
I used to think this was an urban legend, a mythical “city program.” I thought it was created by the Chicago Department of Tourism’s secret Internal Resident Retention Program and they used it to convince us, “Aren’t you lucky to live in a GREAT city like Chicago where you can access resources like the Roof and Porch Program? (Legal disclaimer: The City of Chicago makes no claims that this program actually exists. This might or might not have been a rumor started by the Mayor’s Office to trick you into still living here. Fictional results may vary.)”
Or, I imagined that maybe there was a unicorn walking around City Hall with the Golden Ticket hanging from a mithril collar around its neck. I thought maybe the only way to get into the program was to spot this unicorn, capture it, and chant the incantation to open the magic puzzle box. I was hanging out with a big group of landlords one day, though, and I asked about. Turns out it IS a real program. This "unicorn" does exist and few people mentioned that they benefited from it.
The only problem is it’s not like a money lottery where the more people who enter, the bigger the pot. It’s more like one of those “there’s-only-a-limited-number-of-chances-to-win-so-if-you-keep-telling-people-about-it-you’re-only-decreasing-your-own-chances-Dumbass”-type lotteries.
Each year, funds are available to income-eligible Chicago homeowners to make repairs on their roofs or porches. Interested parties must register in a lottery for a chance to apply for the funds.
Registration for the 2018 Roof and Porch lottery will take place on this website
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today only.
Registration does not guarantee automatic participation in the program. A random lottery drawing will take place for registered participants on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Those selected will be formally notified by mail, and the addresses of selected participants will be posted on this webpage.
Note: Repair work for applicants selected from the Oct. 31, 2017 lottery will begin
as soon as weather permits in late March or early April of 2018.
from the City of Chicago website, 9/14/17
So when registration opened this morning I did the standard thing and (with permission) registered my mom, my sisters, my brother, my niece, my contractor, the lady who works at the gas station, my 4th grade science teacher, the guy who changed my flat tire last May and anyone else in my social circle.
Then I tweeted it (follow me @urbanlandlady) and I also posted it on my Urban Landlady Facebook page. And then I thought about procrastinating until it was too late to blog about it. When fellow Chicago Now blogger Angela Soriano posted this Facebook comment “Yes! Pass the word!! This is how we got our roof repaired!!! <3 <3 <3 So grateful!!!! I will share as well!” then I knew sharing this info with you was the right thing to do. So, even though I’ll probably get booted from the Underground Society of Landlords and Landladies for giving away valuable info, I’m putting everything on the table for you.
CN Blogger Angela Soriano, you know what? You’re awesome and anyone who reads this can thank you for giving me the kick in the pants to share this info. (They should also read your blog, less than perfect, and subscribe. A post I like is “My neighborhood is why I love Chicago.”)
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