Cook County Announces Call for Transportation and Community Grant Program Applications


Department of Transportation and Highways
Brittany Hill                                                                       
(312) 405-8176 (cell)                                                       

Bureau of Economic Development
Erin Matthew
(312) 343-1914 (cell)

Cook County Announces Call for Transportation and Community Grant Program Applications

Applications are now open for two programs that promote transportation improvements and economic development throughout the County

Beginning today applications are now open for the Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) Invest in Cook grant program to assist communities with transportation infrastructure improvements. In conjunction, the Bureau of Economic Development (BED) is also accepting capital improvement applications for their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program supporting economic development throughout the County.

“Making equitable investments in transportation improvements and economic development projects throughout the County is imperative to my administration,” said President Preckwinkle. “Funding projects in traditionally underserved communities is a critical component in creating a better place for all residents and businesses.”

Invest in Cook

For the 6th year in a row, DoTH will make Invest in Cook grants available to local governments and agency partners to help advance planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements.

The DoTH call for projects is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, the County's first long range transportation plan in 75 years. Connecting Cook County lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. In its first five years, Invest in Cook awarded $39.4 million to fund 162 projects throughout the County.

Invest in Cook seeks projects consistent with the priorities detailed in Connecting Cook County that will prioritize transit and other transportation alternatives, support the region's role as North America's freight capital, promote equal access to opportunities, maintain and modernize what already exists and increase investments in transportation.

In addition to funding projects, Invest in Cook provides technical and grant-writing expertise through workshops to help communities tap into new fund sources and accelerate the completion of projects that may have languished.

“Over the last five years, Invest in Cook has become a staple among municipalities and serves as an important lifeline to funding for transportation-related projects throughout the County,” said Jennifer 'Sis' Killen, superintendent of DoTH. “Communities and township road districts are encouraged to submit their priority transportation project or one that simply needs a final push across the finish line.”

Applicants interested in finding out if Invest in Cook is a good fit for a potential project can email

Community Development Block Grant

For over 40 years, Cook County has administered the Community Development Block Grant program to support critical community development needs across suburban Cook County. BED opened the CDBG capital improvement application today, while a CDBG application for social service needs will be made available later in the year.

The County's CDBG capital improvement program is designed to support infrastructure and facility needs in income-eligible areas of suburban Cook. Typical projects include residential infrastructure needs like street and sewer improvements as well as municipal and nonprofit facility improvements. In program year 2021, 32 CDBG applicants were awarded grants totaling nearly $6.9 million.

"Both transportation and community development are essential components of the County’s work to build thriving communities," said Bureau of Economic Development Chief Xochitl Flores. "We hope to bridge boundaries, engage our whole community and create equitable solutions for all suburban Cook County residents and businesses to thrive."

CDBG funding can also be invested in capital projects that will lead to job creation. Interested applicants can contact BED to discuss potential projects to determine if CDBG would be a good fit by emailing

CDBG funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must be invested in line with Moving to Implementation, BED's five-year strategic plan that guides the use of these HUD resources.

Virtual Workshop + How to Apply

The application deadline for both programs is March 16, 2022 at 5 p.m. CST.

DoTH and BED are also hosting a virtual workshop on Wednesday, January 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. to provide more details about the programs and information about how to apply. Click to register.

Under the Invest in Cook program, DoTH is seeking applications from local governments and transit agencies. Private and nonprofit organizations can submit project proposals but must have a public sponsor. For program information and to apply for the grant, visit

Under the CDBG capital improvement program, BED will accept applications from units of government and nonprofit organizations. To view the application and application guide for the CDBG capital improvement program, visit

Award letters for both grant programs will be sent out this summer and a corresponding list of grantees will be published on each department's webpage.