Genomic instability is an underlying hallmark of cancer and is closely associated with defects in DNA damage repair (DDR). Chromatin relaxation is a prerequisite for DDR, but how chromatin accessibility is regulated remains elusive. Here we report that the histone deacetylase SIRT6 coordinates with the chromatin remodeler CHD4 to promote chromatin relaxation in response to DNA damage. Upon DNA damage, SIRT6 rapidly translocates to DNA damage sites, where it interacts with and recruits CHD4. Once at the damage sites, CHD4 displaces heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) from histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3). Notably, loss of SIRT6 or CHD4 leads to impaired chromatin relaxation and disrupted DNA repair protein recruitment. These molecular changes, in-turn, lead to defective homologous recombination (HR) and cancer cell hypersensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Furthermore, we show that SIRT6-mediated CHD4 recruitment has a specific role in DDR within compacted chromatin by HR in G2 phase, which is an ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent process. Taken together, our results identify a novel function for SIRT6 in recruiting CHD4 onto DNA double-strand breaks. This newly identified novel molecular mechanism involves CHD4-dependent chromatin relaxation and competitive release of HP1 from H3K9me3 within the damaged chromatin, which are both essential for accurate HR.