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Assessing Costs and Benefits of Chicago's CDBG-funded HomeMod Program


Authors: Cowan, Spencer M.     Guzon, Janice E.    

Report Acceptance Date: September 2020 (92 pages)

Posted Date: April 19, 2021

The City of Chicago uses the HomeMod Program to address the shortage of accessible housing and increase the supply of units suitable for people with disabilities. Under the administration of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), the HomeMod Program provides home modifications for people under the age of 60 who have disabilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides roughly 71 percent of the program’s funding through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The city supplements the CDBG funds with corporate and private donations, funding from the Chicago Housing Authority, foundations, and other sources.

Although the HomeMod Program is open to people with any type of disability—such as cognitive, mental, physical, or sensory—the vast majority of participants, nearly 90 percent, have a mobility impairment. The report examines and compares the costs and some of the benefits of the HomeMod Program from the perspective of the government as the primary funding source for many of the services and residential options people with disabilities use.

One purpose of the report is to demonstrate a method and the types of data needed to assess the effects of a specific CDBG-funded activity—the HomeMod Program. Another purpose is to determine whether the home modifications might provide more in quantifiable benefits to the government—in avoided future costs for services to people with disabilities, such as home health aides or nursing home care—than the upfront costs of the modifications, which is a measure of the efficiency of the CDBG-funded activity.


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