Regional Repairs

Helping homeowners with repairs and home maintenance across the Chicagoland region.

Chicagoland Regional Repair Collaborative

In 2022, the Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors ratified a 3-year strategic plan that was developed in partnership with the eight local Habitat affiliates.  One of the goals of that strategic plan was for Chicagoland Habitat to assist affiliates in tripling the number of families served by repairs, by raising $4 million and by establishing a regional repair collaboration effort. In the first year alone, nearly $2 million has been raised, and four new staff members have been hired by affiliates to coordinate repairs.  Chicagoland Habitat is working behind the scenes to help affiliates solve problems and improve efficiency.

Why Repairs Are Needed

Since their founding, the eight Habitat for Humanity affiliate locations serving the Chicago metro region have been committed to providing safe, decent, and affordable homes to qualifying low-income families. Working hand-in-hand with community volunteers and homeowners, affiliates have constructed and sold new homes, and acquired and substantially rehabilitated existing homes, while leveraging their housing construction experience to address a wider array of housing needs in their areas of service.

However, the need for housing repairs, especially for seniors and veterans, is critically high. With an aging population, the demand for home modifications and repair assistance is growing. We’re stepping up to meet this challenge by expanding our existing programs and reaching out to more communities:

  • Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that over 268,000 affordable homes would need to be built to adequately and affordably house all extremely low-income renters in Illinois.
  • Habitat for Humanity addresses this shortage in two ways. First, we build new or rehabilitate existing affordable housing units, and second, we repair homes for qualifying low-income families. This repair work is critical to maintain the current supply for affordable homes for low-income families.
  • In the metro Chicago region alone, there is a huge, unmet need for home repairs for low-income households. The data show a total of 408,166 households with one or more housing conditions in need of repair.
 

Across the Chicagoland region, we have more than doubled the number of repairs in 2023 compared to 2021. But we know we can, and we must, do much more. With your support, we can make safe, decent, and comfortable living conditions a reality for everyone in our community.

Family Highlights

Wesco International is the inaugural sponsor of the Regional Repair Collaboration in Chicagoland

For Contractors

Affiliates actively seek bids from qualified contractors at various times throughout the year. Click here to find an affiliate near you!

For Families

If you’re interest in applying for a home repair, click here to find an affiliate near you!

Frank & Shelby

Frank and Shelby now live independently and safely in the home they love with a new roof and ramp installed by Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley.

Frank and Shelby have always been fiercely independent. Both grew up in Appalachia and Frank started his working days in the coal mines. They married in 1958 and soon after headed north to Illinois for better work opportunities and to start a family.

Now, at 91 and 83 years old, Frank’s need for a walker and Shelby’s reliance on her wheelchair made leaving their home for simple tasks like grocery shopping, doctor visits, and attending church in Sunday increasingly difficult. Their roof was also old and leaking, and they were concerned about their health and safety.

That is when they found out about Habitat for Humanity’s Regional Repair Collaboration in Chicagoland, which provides critical repairs to homeowners in the region. Frank and Shelby applied with nearby Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley, and soon a team of volunteers arrived to assess the couple’s needs.

The team worked tirelessly to repair the roof and install a ramp, which made it easier for Frank and Shelby to navigate their home. With the new modifications, they could once again exit and enter their home safely, without fear of falling.

Aging in place is becoming increasingly important as the population of older adults continues to grow. According to a 2018 report by AARP, approximately 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, Frank and Shelby can continue to live independently and safely in the home they love.

With the generous support of Wesco International as the inaugural sponsor of the Regional Repair Collaboration, Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity is coordinating efforts with area affiliates like Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley to expand critical repair services offered in the region.

 

Sammie

With the help of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley, Sammie can age in place with dignity and grace with a new walk-in shower.

Sammie has lived in her home for 57 years. She raised her children there and has many fond memories with her husband. Sammie is now 89 years old and although her home holds a special place in her heart, it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to manage. Her old bathtub was too difficult for her to get in and out of, so she resorted to sponge bathing. The old plumbing in her home was also in need of some upgrades.

But Sammie loves her home and her neighborhood. She wanted to stay in the place that held so many memories for her. This is when Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley stepped in. They saw the need and were able to provide the necessary upgrades for Sammie to be able to continue living in her home comfortably.

The first step was to remove the old bathtub and repair the framing structure. Habitat then installed a walk-in shower with an integrated seat. They added a handheld shower head that reached the back of the shower area where Sammie could sit to shower. Finally, they touched up the paint, as necessary.

Sammie was overjoyed with the result. Something as little as being able to take a shower safely on her own adds so much to her life. She said, “I am eternally grateful for Habitat.”

The impact of the project is not just about the upgrades themselves but the fact that Sammie can continue living in her home with dignity. Aging in place is important for so many elderly individuals. It allows them to stay in the place they love and maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Sammie’s repair was completed through a collaboration of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley and Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity.  Northern Fox Valley received and approved Sammie’s application and led the repair efforts. Chicagoland secured funding and volunteer support to complete the repairs.

Sammie’s home holds so many memories for her, and now thanks to the Regional Repair Collaboration in Chicagoland, she can continue to make memories with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. With Habitat’s help, Sammie can age in place with dignity and grace.