A Safety Net on the Southwest Side of Chicago

The Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program is a unique program of the State of Illinois (65 ILCS 95) that was developed to guarantee property values for an extended time.  It is financed by a special levy imposed on the Chicago property tax bill within the home equity district on single through six-unit residential properties. Chicagoan’s are eligible if they own a home within the southwest side district.

The district encompasses 9 wards, 7 zip codes and 13 neighborhoods near Midway Airport. Homeowners can check to see if they’re eligible for the program by referring to their property tax bill. Under “Miscellaneous Taxes”, it should say “SW Home Equity Assurance Chicago”. To register, homeowners can apply by submitting their current appraisal of 6 months-or-less to be approved by our Board of Review. If homeowners do not have a current appraisal of 6 months-or-less, the Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program can have one done starting at $125 for a single-family home (prices may vary for type of home). Once a registered member, they now have the chance to take advantage of two benefits:

1) guaranteeing the value of the home and/or 2) the home improvement loan. After 5 years of being a member, if a member decides to sell their home and does not receive what it’s worth
they can file a claim. By filing a claim, the program will compensate a portion of the money that was lost in the sale (there is a list of procedures that must be followed to ensure compensation). The second benefit we offer is the home improvement loan. We work with two local banks within the district to offer our members loan programs to be used for home repair, maintenance and improvements. Our most popular program is the 0%, up to $10,000 loan that members can qualify for. Members have 5 years to pay it off and once they do, they can qualify for another one. Overall, this is a key program that is only offered in 2 other areas in Chicago besides the southwest side. It is a safety net that not only incentive’s the southwest side but encourages residents to invest in protecting the value of their homes. This ultimately benefit ts the neighborhood as a whole!

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Victoria with the Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program and may be reached at 773735-2000 or by email victoria@swhomeequity.com. More information may also be found at www.swhomeequity.com.