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Street rehabilitation project in Blue Island, Illinois. 

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is the primary community development program of the federal government, and is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The main objective of the CDBG program is the development of viable communities including decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. Cook County uses its CDBG funding primarily to support capital improvement projects (e.g., roads, sewers, facilities) and social services, including homeless prevention/intervention, development of public-private partnerships and planning in suburban Cook County. 

Program Year 2018

In July, 2018, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners accepted annual grant awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support vital infrastructure, community services and economic development activities in Cook County.

The grants are as follows:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): $ 10,805,545
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG): $ 834,885
  • HOME Investment Partnerships: $ 6,764,251

From 2011 to 2017, the CDBG program has funded 275 capital improvement projects in suburban Cook County totaling over $40 million.

These capital improvement projects – which include road, sewer, water main, sidewalk, and public facility improvements – have benefited approximately 500,000 residents.

Additionally, during the same time period, the CDBG program has invested almost $10 million into the network of agencies providing critical social services to suburban Cook County. The funded services include a broad range of safety net programs such as food pantries and homeless services, and also support programs that provide youth programming, health services, housing programs, employment and income services, and more. These investments have served approximately 250,000 residents of suburban Cook County.

According to the HUD website, the  Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program provides funding to:

  • Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street;
  • Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  • Help operate these shelters;
  • Provide essential services to shelter residents;
  • Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

Please note – Per HUD regulations, Cook County community development funding for programs and projects is restricted to suburban Cook County. The City of Chicago has their own CDBG and ESG Programs. 

For more information, please contact Susan Campbell, Director, Planning and Development at  (312) 603-1000, e-mail, or Dominic Tocci, Deputy Director at (312) 603-1048 or