Development Application

The City of Chicago is now accepting applications for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) projects to receive grant funding under the Chicago Recovery Plan!

In partnership with the ETOD Working Group and through an open application process, the City will identify projects to implement aspects of the ETOD Policy Plan and the Connected Communities Ordinance. The ETOD program will provide funding of up to $250,000.00 and technical assistance to support community-led equitable development near transit.

Available grant funding will consist of equity-focused funding for capital investments to be awarded over the course of 2 years and paired with technical assistance. For the first round of grants, only applications that have a more advanced level of readiness are being accepted. Separate funding for predevelopment will be available in future funding rounds. The Round 1 deadline is August 18, 2023.

See below for details of the grant program, or feel free to get your application started here.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Grant funding can be used for construction or renovation costs for permanent capital improvement projects. Future grant rounds will provide funding for pre-development.
  • Open to community developers, not-for-profit organizations, business owners and entrepreneurs, and property owners. Site control is preferred, but not required.
  • Affordable housing, mixed-use and commercial projects are eligible.
  • Priority will be given to catalytic projects with a strong local impact, that are able to leverage local talents, capacities, and institutions to strengthen and contribute to the community.
  • Proposals will be evaluated based on how they help to meet the goals of the ETOD Policy Plan and advance aspects of the Connected Communities Ordinance.
  • Applicants from all areas of Chicago are eligible to apply. Priority will be given for projects in historically disinvested areas as well as projects that build upon existing efforts, such the INVEST South/West initiative, food equity, community wealth building, and community safety initiatives.

ETOD Criteria


  • is shaped through intentional community engagement;
  • maximizes the benefits and minimizes the burdens to communities impacted by racial, climate, or health inequity;
  • promotes universal accessibility for people with disabilities;
  • and explicitly and intentionally advances racial, climate, and health equity.

Transit-Oriented Development:

  • near at least one public transportation access point;
  • provide access to multiple modes of transportation;
  • designed to increase transit ridership;
  • aim to improve sidewalk safety, walkability and bicycling; and
  • promote shared use mobility (car share, bike share, scooter share, rideshare).

Eligible Expenses (including but not limited to):

  • Major exterior and interior renovations to existing buildings
  • Build-outs for incoming businesses
  • Acquisition, site preparation, demolition
  • Architectural and engineering fees
  • Roofing, masonry, façade, windows, doors
  • Mechanical systems, such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing
  • Security systems, ADA accessibility improvements

Know before you apply

  • Applications will be accepted through the Submittable platform. All applicants will be asked to create a Submittable login and can complete the form in stages.
  • ETOD grants are one of four tracks of the Universal Community Development Grant Application - applicants must select the grant stream they want to be considered for.
  • You will be asked to upload detailed information about the project proposal through the Submittable portal including evidence about the structure of your organization, evidence of how a proposal will gain site control, budget information, tax information, any construction estimates or quotes, and other supporting materials. See the application form for full details.
  • Generally, the maximum grant will only cover up to 75% of the project’s total eligible costs. Applicants are anticipated to cover at least 25% of the project’s total eligible costs.
  • In addition to a review by City of Chicago staff, applications will also be reviewed by a community advisory body of representative ETOD stakeholders.
  • The deadline to apply is August 18, 2023.

The City’s ETOD vision is that every Chicagoan should be able to live in a healthy, walkable, vibrant community connected to transit and all its benefits. The Chicago ETOD Policy Plan outlines a comprehensive set of actions for the City to take to advance racial equity, wealth building, public health and climate resilience goals through equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD). The Connected Communities Ordinance approved by City Council in July 2022 may also inform applications.