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BMO Introduces 'Welcome Home Grant' Down Payment Program for Homebuyers in Chicago
  • Mayor Lightfoot welcomes new program to benefit eligible communities
  • Applicants in the Chicago area may be eligible for up to $20,000 to assist with down payment and closing costs

CHICAGO, March 29, 2022 /CNW/ - With the start of the Spring homebuying season, BMO Harris Bank today announced the launch of its new Welcome Home Grant down payment program in Chicago, which offers grants to eligible borrowers to assist with down payment and closing costs.

When paired with other home financing programs, eligible borrowers can receive up to $20,000 in combined assistance. With the help of these programs, Chicago homebuyers can contribute as little as $1,000 from their own funds and lock in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Under the new Welcome Home Grant program, eligible homebuyers purchasing in Majority Minority Census Tracts in the Chicago area can receive $3,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

The Welcome Home Grant can be combined with other down payment and closing cost assistance programs, including BMO's $800 Spring promotional offer, $6,000 through the FHLBC Downpayment Plus Program, and up to $7,500 via the IHDA Access Deferred program.  In addition, borrowers in low or moderate income census tracts may be eligible for an additional $2,200 BMO grant. 

Through a separate program, BMO also offers eligible borrowers $2,000 to assist with refinancing costs.

The Welcome Home Grant program provides relief amid a challenging environment for Chicago area homebuyers in Majority Minority Census Tracts; according to BMO Economics, while there has been relatively strong local job growth, housing affordability is an issue in the wake of rising rates and home price appreciation. In Chicago, home prices are up more than 12% year over year, which is the largest gain in 33 years.

"My administration and I welcome today's announcement from BMO Harris Bank, which will support our citywide mission of making homeownership a more accessible goal for Chicagoans—especially homebuyers in our INVEST South/West communities," said Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor, City of Chicago. "This program also serves as a shining example of how collaboration between the public and private sector can produce the resources needed to help revitalize historically underserved communities."

"As part of our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to supporting our communities and helping families make their dream of homeownership a reality," said Scott Freudenberger, Vice President and Head, Community Reinvestment at BMO Harris Bank. "Down payment and closing costs are a major hurdle for many families and our new Welcome Home Grant program is designed to help. BMO is proud to work with Chicago homebuyers and homeowners to provide financial education and down payment assistance to set them up for success and allow them to save their money for the unexpected."

The Welcome Home Grant program represents a further example of BMO's efforts to advance an inclusive economic recovery in the United States. In 2020, BMO announced BMO EMpower – pledging $5 billion over the next five years to address key barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families.  This program will help buyers in underserved communities in and around Chicago access the credit they need and accelerate their dream of homeownership.

Funds are reserved for full applications between March 14 and July 14, 2022. For more information on the program, please visit

About BMO Harris Bank 
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$1.02 trillion as of January 31, 2022.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media contact: Craig Morelli,, 224-499-5601