Cook County Advocates Push For Loan Fund To Help People At Risk Of Losing Their Homes

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County advocates are pushing for an ongoing fund to help low-income people who might lose their homes because of unpaid property tax bills.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin is sponsoring the proposal aimed to create a county-backed, privately-funded loan fund to help people who might otherwise lose their homes because of delinquent property taxes.

Businessman, occasional political candidate and gospel music show host Willie Wilson created a loan fund to help people.

“We should not punish our citizens when they hit hard times,” Wilson said. “We need to reach out and got to help them.”

Wilson put $250,000 of his money into his charitable version of the proposal. Now Boykin is sponsoring an ordinance to expand the idea.

“Because of Dr. Wilson’s generosity and other people who have contributed to that fund over the last year and a half, we said it is important for us to have a permanent loan fund for individuals, backed by Cook County,” he said.

Pastor Marshall Hatch of Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church said the fund would not cost the county anything.

“We really need to look at public policy through a moral lense and that’s whether or not this city will be a place where poor people can live,” Rev. Hatch said.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office is studying the legality and feasibility of the proposal.

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