Suburban Cook County homeowners who need assistance with paying their mortgages can apply for the Cook County Mortgage Assistance program. The application deadline is Oct. 16.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the new program, which is funded by the federal CARES Act, during a press conference in Chicago on Oct. 8.

“By some estimates, up to 20 percent of mortgage-paying homeowners nationwide have missed a mortgage payment,” Preckwinkle said. “That’s 1 out of 5 households. As Congress seems nowhere near ready to approve continued unemployment benefits and even though nationally we’re facing the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression in the 1930s, we know that we have tremendous challenges.”

The new mortgage assistance program totals $20 million, with up to $10,000 payments going directly to mortgage providers. Eligible homeowners must live in suburban Cook County, have experienced COVID-19-related financial hardship, have income at or below $127,400 before and after their COVID-19-related financial hardship, have gone into mortgage arrearage after March 27, and cannot have accepted any other CARES Act emergency mortgage assistance funding, according to the county’s website.

To apply for the funding or to receive more information on the program, visit