Chicago mayor proposes 'biggest' plan in US to help low-income residents

Chicago mayor proposes 'biggest' plan in US to help low-income residents

Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootToronto police say unvaccinated officers to be placed on leave at end of November Sheriffs say they won't help cover potential mandate staffing shortages in Chicago 21 officers placed on 'no pay' status amid Chicago vaccine standoff MORE (D) proposed on Monday a “first-of-its-kind" multimillion-dollar monthly program to provide direct housing assistance low-income residents across the city. 

The $31.5 million program will include $500-per-month payments for 5,000 households for 12 months and will focus heavily on low-income families financially hurt by COVID-19, The Chicago Tribune reported

“This cash benefit plan for our residents, if approved, will be the largest in the history of the United States,” Lightfoot said in her budget speech, according to the paper. 

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Lightfoot’s proposal, which is part of the mayor’s $16.7 billion budget plan, still requires approval from Chicago’s city council.

The Associated Press reported that the Windy City is slated to receive $1.9 billion in federal relief funds.

Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas, who could face off with the first-term mayor in the next election and has proposed similar income programs, criticized the pace of the plan’s rollout. 

“They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” Villegas wrote on Twitter. “It’s unfortunate that this was introduced back in April and now just being accepted by @chicagosmayor when we could have been months into this pilot. People have been hurting for months.” 

Villegas said the overall budget proposal would likely receive pushback

“When you introduce something, it’s the mayor’s and her team’s idea on what she envisions as well as spending, but you have 50 different ideas,” Villegas said, according to CBS2.

Lightfoot’s budget plan also aims to address policing, boost affordable housing efforts and allocate funds toward environmental goals, including an initiative to plant 75,000 trees, according to AP. The mayor also plans to invest $52 million for mental health initiatives, CBS2 reported.