Housing Assistance Increase, Contact-Tracing Program Expansion, IDES Fraud Issues, and More

Dear Neighbor,

Today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $33 million expansion of housing assistance programs to help renters and homeowners during the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Residents who qualify for assistance are encouraged to apply for these grants through the newly-established online Chicago Housing Assistance Portal.

Governor JB Pritzker also recently awarded an additional $150 million to public health departments  across the state for Illinois' Contact-Tracing Program, $60 million of which is dedicated to connecting local community organizations with resources to help coordinate regional tracking efforts. Click here to read the full press release from the Governor's office.

On Saturday I joined East Lakeview Neighbors and the Chicago Cubs to help cleanup Wrigleyville during Opening Day weekend. It was great to see such a nice turnout to help make our streets shine even in the midst of a global pandemic. A big thank you to all the volunteers and organizers who made the cleanup possible. Here are some pictures from the event:

In this newsletter, you will find information on the ongoing fraud issues with Illinois' unemployment system, updated COVID-19 testing site list in the district, a deadline extension for Cook County property taxpayers, new investments announced in the Illinois Apprenticeship Program, and the upcoming community meeting schedule for school reopenings in the fall from Chicago Public Schools.

As always, if you have any general questions about services or specific COVID-19 guidelines, feel free to call our office at 773-348-8974; email us at; or visit Also be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent news and updates as we receive them.

Wishing you all the best - please stay safe and healthy.

Yours in service,


Yoni Pizer
State Representative, 12th District

IDES Fraud Claims Update

The COVID-19 crisis, in addition to wounding our collective economic prosperity and impairing our public health system, has also given way to a sharp increase in identity theft and fraud cases with our state's already overwhelmed unemployment system.

I am well-acquainted with this issue, not only due to the fact that our office has received a number of these cases over the last few weeks, but because I became a victim of this type of fraud myself. Like many constituents who have called into our office, I received a KeyBank debit card from IDES as if I applied for unemployment, despite never applying in the first place. I spoke with Irika Sargent at CBS2 News to bring attention to this critical problem with fraudulent IDES claims, which can be viewed here or in the link above.

If you or someone you know has had a similar experience with unemployment insurance fraud, contact our office, call IDES at (800) 814-0513, or "Report UI Benefit Fraud” on the IDES website by filling out this contact form.

COVID-19 Testing Sites in the 12th District

A reminder that if you think you might be sick -- or have been in contact with someone who is -- it’s important to #GetTested for COVID-19. Refer to our neighborhood list of testing spots to help keep our community healthy.

Find more information on testing sites and availability at

Property Tax Deadline Extended

State Announces New Investments to Expand Illinois Apprenticeship Program

This week, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced a $4.7 million investment that will expand the Illinois Apprenticeship Program to serve an additional 568 residents in training programs over the next two years. Overall, the State of Illinois is making a $20 million investment in the Illinois Apprenticeship Program to support 17,000+ apprenticeships in 2020 alone.
To support this expansion, the State is awarding grants to 25 partner organizations who will expand training programs and employer partnerships, with an emphasis on growing capacity in underserved communities. New and expanded programming will include an array of training pathways that are high-demand and high-paying career fields, such as IT, manufacturing, construction, pharmaceuticals, and more. 
For more on eligibility and to locate apprenticeship opportunities near you, visit

Chicago Public Schools Reopening Framework Meeting Schedule

CPS needs your input on how best to resume school in a responsible manner. Register for one of five community meetings (three in English, two in Spanish) to provide feedback on our preliminary framework for a return to school. More information:
Copyright © 2020 State Representative Yoni Pizer, All rights reserved.


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