Now, more than ever, housing is healthcare. I wanted to share with you a few of our accomplishments from March and April.
We are all in this together.
Now, more than ever, housing is healthcare.
Over the past two months, the COVID-19 virus has spread rapidly throughout Illinois. The public health crisis makes clear how critical it is to expand affordable housing and end homelessness.
Our members and staff remain steadfast in their passion and dedication to ensuring that everyone has a good, affordable place to call home—so we can all stay home when we need to. Your voice matters as wesignificantly increase our efforts so that everyone, particularly those hardest hit by this crisis, has the resources they need to respond and begin to recover.
I wanted to share with you a few of the highlights from our work in March and April.
We have regranted$340,000 in COVID-19 relief funds—which we received from NLIHC and the Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund—to support direct service organizations throughout Illinois. Read our press release »
We refocused and ramped up policy advocacy efforts to ensure state and federal relief includes resources for affordable housing, homeless services, and housing counseling, and that programs are put in place to assist the people and communities who need it most. See our Federal COVID-19 Relief: Housing & Homelessness policy recommendations and our latest action alert.
We have advocated for measures to prevent another foreclosure crisis. We sent a joint letter with NHS of Chicago, calling on Governor Pritzker to urge banks to suspend foreclosures and help struggling residents remain in their homes. Soon after, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued public guidance urging all mortgage servicers to defer mortgage payments for 90 days.
We are regularly surveying housing counseling agencies to learn how COVID-19 is impacting their work and to respond to their needs through our capacity building program.
Based on feedback from the surveys, we created a training to help counselors learn how to provide virtual housing counseling, which filled up immediately. We're also converting all planned in-person trainings to virtual workshops. See our upcoming trainings.
We reconvened the Illinois Housing Counseling Coalition, which supports housing counseling collaboration and information-sharing, particularly during times of crisis. As we learned just a decade ago, expert housing counseling can make a world of difference for families facing evictions or foreclosures.
We pivoted our 2020 census outreach activities to focus on providing educational materials to food pantries in place of in-person events. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, full participation in the census is critical and will impact Illinois for years to come. Help spread the word with our Census 2020 Toolkit & Resources.
We’ve been speaking to the media regularlyandconnecting reporters with partner organizations to better understand housing, homelessness, and the coronavirus. We’ve also been writing op-eds and letters to the editor to highlight the investments and policy changes necessary to address the urgent needs of people facing housing instability.
During this difficult time, I am inspired by the hard work and dedication of our staff and members, and the grateful for the generosity of our supporters. Together, we will work to build communities that are better for all of us, and make sure everyone has a good, stable home of their own.
Wishing you and yours the best,
Sharon K. Legenza Executive Director
Housing Action Illinois 67 E. Madison Street, Suite 1603 | Chicago, Illinois 60603 312-939-6074 | firstname.lastname@example.org