Migrant Housing Funding Increased by $70M with Council Committee Approval

The Chicago City Council’s Budget Committee approved an additional $70 million in financing for the city’s programs dealing with the continuous sheltering of asylum seekers, with a full council decision expected in the following days.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson initially questioned the additional cash but changed his mind after consulting with county and state officials.

In February, Gov. J.B. Pritzker went to Chicago City Hall and met with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Johnson to figure out how much money would be needed to care for migrants through the fiscal year 2024.

Migrant Housing Funding Increased by $70M with Council Committee Approval

Pritzker requested that the Illinois General Assembly approve $182 million from the state. Preckwinkle and Johnson, meanwhile, agreed to share the remaining $70 million.

However, a week later, Johnson distanced himself from the agreement, saying “I’m not aware” when questioned repeatedly by reporters on February 15.

According to various published estimates, the city has spent over 30% of its $1.9 billion in federal subsidies.

Ald. Bill Conway, who represents the 34th Ward, previously attempted to draft an ordinance requiring control of how COVID funds were spent, but he stated that “that proposal was derailed to the Rules Committee.”

Conway said he has many questions about the $70 million idea.

Johnson’s office declined to reply to repeated inquiries about money for the immigration issue.


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