Winter is Here


December 14, 2021 | by Emma Olson

2021-2022 Chicago Snow and Cold Weather Resources

As a person with a disability, do you have specific things you do when cold weather arrives or to help you safely navigate through snow and ice? We’d like to hear about those!

Transportation issues with public or paratransit? Report them to Access Living.


Emma Olson

Digital Engagement and Accessibility Specialist

Winter Storms, Extreme Cold, and Inclimate Weather

**If you are in an emergency situation or other crisis please seek immediate assistance through a 24 hour crisis hotline**

Emergency Housing in Chicago: 311

Chicago Warming Centers: When temperatures are at 32 degrees or below – warming areas are available at the City’s six community service centers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Find a warming center here.

Not in Chicago? Here’s a link to Cook County warming centers.

Extreme cold preparedness information

Winter Weather Terms and Definitions

Ways to keep up-to-date on weather conditions and emergencies:

  • Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at
  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices including flooding, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5

Tenant rights/Landlord responsibilities for heat during winter:

Under City of Chicago ordinance, landlords are responsible for providing adequate heat and face significant penalties for failure to do so. Between September 15 and June 1, landlords must supply heat to rental units, and the temperature inside a rental unit must be at least 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night.

Landlords can face fines of $500 to $1,000 per day, per violation, for each day they do not supply adequate heat. The reason for lack of heat does not matter – landlords must follow the law, and apartments must be heated.

Tenant Resources:

If you are a renter and your landlord is not providing adequate heat or no heat at all, the Department of Building recommends you first contact your landlord and let them know about the issue. If your landlord does not take action, or if you are unable to get in touch with them, you may file a complaint via CHI 311 website or mobile app or by calling 311. The Department of Buildings will inspect your unit and take action against delinquent owners.

More information on the Chicago Heat Ordinances here

Heat and Essential Services Factsheet

Metropolitan Tenants Organization:

If you are unable to resolve a heating problem with your landlord, call the Metropolitan Tenants’ Organization Hotline at (773) 292-4988.

You can also send your landlord a 24-hour notice using Squared Away Chicago.

Other Housing Resources

Worried about eviction? Find a resource list specific to evictions and COVID-19 here.

Snow Resources (Shoveling, Plowing, Sidewalks, Streets, etc.)

City of Chicago Plow Tracker (activated during major snow events)

All home, property, and business owners in Chicago (and businesses who rent space adjacent to sidewalks) are responsible for shoveling snow under City of Chicago ordinances. Read more about Chicago snow ordinances here.

Snow removal guidance for Chicago residents and businesses

City of Chicago Snow Removal Requests and/or Complaints

  • Go to CHI311 online
  • Click ‘Transportation and Streets’
  • Click ‘Streets and Sidewalks’
  • Create a request under the appropriate category (listed below)

Ice and Snow Removal Request

  • This service request is for removal of ice and snow from city streets.

Snow – Object/Dibs Removal Request

  • Use this service request to have items removed from parking spaces. (i.e., Chairs, Buckets, Cones, etc.)

Snow Removal – Protected Bike Lane or Bridge Sidewalk

  • Snow removal requests for protected bike lanes/bridge sidewalks

Snow – Uncleared Sidewalk Complaint

  • Use this service request to report sidewalks in the public way that have not been cleared (shoveled or salted) within 15 hours after a snow/sleet event.