Evanston announces first reparations beneficiaries have chosen where to apply $25,000 housing benefit stipends


Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

The recipients of Evanston’s Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program are the first people to receive reparations from Evanston related to damage resulting from racism and discrimination.

Aviva Bechky, Assistant City Editor

The first beneficiaries of Evanston’s Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program have decided what to use their benefits for, the city announced Monday. 

Each beneficiary will receive $25,000, which they can spend in either home purchase, mortgage assistance or home improvements. Of the 16 beneficiaries, six chose home improvement, another six chose a mix of home improvement and mortgage assistance, two chose just mortgage assistance and one chose to put the money toward a home purchase. The remaining beneficiary is still finalizing their decision. 

According to the release, funds have been disbursed for the individuals who selected mortgage assistance only. Partial payment was made to begin another’s home improvements. 

The recipients are the first people to receive a form of payment from the city that aims to repair institutional harm toward Black residents. 

All 16 recipients are “Ancestors,” meaning they are Black Evanston residents who were at least 18 years old by 1969. Another 106 “Ancestors” remain who have not yet been awarded reparations through the program. 

The city used a random drawing system to select which candidates would be the first recipients. 

Evanston has committed $10 million total to fund local reparations. The Reparations Committee plans to conduct more outreach to create future reparations initiatives. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @avivabechky

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