Chicago, Illinois: RainReady’s Residential Flood Assistance Program

City: Chicago
Country / US State / US Territory: Illinois
Type of Solution: Buildings and Housing
Climate Impact: Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Affordable and Safe Housing; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety; Water Security and Quality
Funding: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery

The RainReacy Flood Residential Flood Assistance Program (RFAP) partnered with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development from 2015-2016 to assist low and middle income homeowners affected by the 2013 storm with repairs and retrofits. The 2013 storm was a 10-year storm that resulted in extensive damages of many homes. The program helps promote social justice and equity for vulnerable populations.

RFAP participants were provided with home assessments and construction work for free, including treating mold, removing lead and other hazardous materials, repairing flooding damage, and installing flood mitigation measures, contributing to public health and safety. Some of these flood mitigation measures included foundation waterproofing, rain barrel installation, and green infrastructure such as rain gardens and permeable pavers.

The program assisted 70 individuals that had requested flood relief, and most homes were located in neighborhoods with at least 30% of households with income below the federal poverty line. Homes were eligible to receive up to $50,000 in assistance. Additionally, the city will provide inspections for installations every five years, and residents were required to commit to staying in the home for at least two years.

Fig: Dejan and Marcela Bajict standing next to the rain barrel at their RainReady home (Photo retrieved from

Sources: RainReady. (n.d.). CNT’s RainReady service to help Chicago flood victims recover from the 2013 storm. Retrieved from

The Adaptation Clearinghouse. (2017). Case study: RainReady’s Residential Flood Assistance program (Chicago, IL). Retrieved from