WBEZ: "Program Created By Racial Panic Shifts To Help Pay For Home Repairs"

A controversial tax program created more than 30 years ago to prevent white flight on Chicago’s Northwest Side is shifting its mission to reflect needs in surrounding neighborhoods.

The Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program (NHEAP) is flush with $9.5 million that’s sat idle for years. The money collected was used as a kind of insurance program – homeowners could file a cash claim if the value of their homes dropped upon selling.

After nearly a decade of organizing, residents in several communities have galvanized to get new NHEAP board members and a new executive director, Ivy Ellis.

Laura Slabaugh