August 2021 Newsletter: 2021 Housing Matters Conference | Annual Member Meeting | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Member Spotlight | AmeriCorps Updates | Membership Drive | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs
2021 Housing Matters Conference
Registration is now open for our annual conference!
After last year’s success, we're holding our annual Housing Matters conference virtually again—and rejoining partners to bring it as part of Resilient Communities: The National Forum. We will kick off with two days of collaborative content with top national speakers on October 4 & 5, followed by two days of Illinois-specific workshops on local topics with our state's experts and decision makers on October 6 & 7.
This year, we're looking forward to bringing sessions on topics ranging from new Illinois property tax incentives to creating truly inclusive programs and services, from the changes that housing counseling agencies need make to keep up in 2022 to how homeless service providers can better connect families to pediatric primary care, and much more.
Member registration is $75 & non-member registration is $125
Check whether your organization is a member »
2021 Virtual Member Meeting
This year, at our annual membership meeting, Housing Action Illinois will be joined by State Representatives Delia Ramirez and Will Guzzardi and State Senators Anne Gillespie and Mattie Hunter. The legislators will discuss the significant affordable housing victories secured during the recent state legislative session, such as the Affordable Housing Omnibus Bill and the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act. We will also discuss what comes next, looking toward what future policy priorities lie ahead.
The meeting will be on September 1 at 12 pm CT. Everyone is welcome to join, whether or not you or your organization are current Housing Action members.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided.
Register now »
Landmark Affordable Housing Legislation Signed into Law
"What’s so great about this omnibus legislation is that it’s really comprehensive," explained Housing Action's Policy Director Bob Palmer at the signing of major omnibus affordable housing legislation (HB 2621) into law. "It offers incentives and resources in all types of markets and communities in Illinois."
The legislation includes key affordable housing property tax incentives for which Housing Action and our partners have long advocated. Why now? “I think that the pandemic has refocused attention on affordable housing as a really important, pressing issue,” says Bob.
Learn more about the bill and its key provisions »
Up to $332 Billion in Federal Funding for Housing on the Horizon
The Senate has voted 50-49 to approve a budget resolution that sets the stage for a $3.5 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery package, including a $332 billion investment that can be committed to meet crucial housing needs.
Tell our members of Congress to commit this funding to:
- Create and preserve affordable rental homes for people with the lowest incomes
- Address the racial wealth gap by providing targeted down payment assistance
- Support community investment, revitalization, and equity
Message your legislators now »
National Eviction Moratorium Goes Until October 3; Illinois Eviction Moratorium Phasing Out
The first National Eviction Moratorium ended on July 31, but the CDC announced another limited, targeted eviction moratorium through October 3. This covers renters living in communities experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and prevents execution of eviction orders by law enforcement, but does not prevent cases proceeding in court or courts entering judgments against tenants. Based on the CDC map, all but a few of Illinois’ 102 counties are covered.
Until the end of August, Governor Pritzker’s executive order, combined with actions by the State of Illinois Supreme Court, offers Illinois tenants more protections than the CDC order. The State of Illinois tenant declaration form is substantially similar to the CDC declaration form, but to ensure their protection, tenants should also provide landlords with a signed CDC form, available here »
Visit IllinoisRentalAssistance.org to connect to a service provider who can help people apply for rent assistance and EvictionHelpIllinois.org for free legal help. Housing Action will continue to regularly update our summary of federally funded rental programs in Illinois as new information becomes available.
Good News: OCC Backtracks on Weakening the CRA
In July 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced it would propose to rescind its controversial Trump-era rules weakening the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and work with other banking regulators to adopt a clear, strong, and consistent update to the CRA. Learn more and read the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s statement applauding this news »
Housing Counselor Dispatch
Congratulations: 100% HUD-Certified!
Housing Action extends our warmest congratulations to our 34 Intermediary affiliate housing counseling agencies for being 100% HUD-certified! Counselors at every agency have passed HUD's individual certification exam.
We're proud to say that Illinois is one of the top 5 states for HUD-certified housing counselors: 99% of Illinois agencies have certified counselors. Nationally, 94% of agencies now have certified counselors.
Introducing the Housing Counseling Corps
Housing Action Illinois is excited to bring together two of our programs—supporting housing counseling agencies and managing a network of AmeriCorps VISTA members—for a new initiative: the Housing Counseling Corps. We will place AmeriCorps VISTA members with agencies in need of new talent and HUD-certified housing counselors. After a year of service, these AmeriCorps members will be well-positioned to begin a job as a certified counselor at their host site or another housing counseling agency.
We plan to launch this initiative in the fall of 2021.
Learn more »
Member Spotlight: LIFE Center for Independent Living
"It's persons with disabilities serving persons with disabilities," says Conan Calhoun, a Disability Rights Advocate at Life Center for Independent Living (LIFE CIL). Since its founding in 1985, LIFE CIL has fought to break down barriers for all people with disabilities. LIFE CIL serves DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, and McClean counties by advocating for those with disabilities, running educational programming, supplying free equipment, and providing support services. Through their work, they are fighting for equality in every sense of the word.
Read more »
Conan Calhoun, Disability Rights Advocate at LIFE CIL
Thank You to Our Summer Associates & Outgoing Full-Year Members
Housing Action Illinois wants to thank all outgoing AmeriCorps Summer Associates and Full-Year Members for your service. We hope that your AmeriCorps experience was enriching and fulfilling to both you and your host site, and we wish you the best in all of your future endeavors!
Making a Difference at HOPE Fair Housing Center
Over the summer, Beth LeCroy joined HOPE Fair Housing Center as an AmeriCorps Summer Associate, and she accomplished a lot during her time serving at the organization. Highlights from her term included amping up HOPE's social media presence and getting an article published by the Daily Herald about the key role that assistance animals play in aiding persons with disabilities, and the importance of landlords accommodating assistance animals in housing. She also organized and moderated a roundtable discussion with local nonprofit leaders to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which you can watch here »
Evelyn Sanguinetti and Beth LeCroy of HOPE Fair Housing Center, April Redzic of DuPage PADS, and Mary Rosenberg of Access Living discuss the Americans with Disability Act
Are You a Member of Housing Action Illinois?
Join Our Coalition Today!
For nearly 35 years, Housing Action Illinois has been working to create an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable home. We are incredibly thankful for the 150+ members in our coalition who work alongside us to expand affordable housing and end homelessness in Illinois.
As a member of Housing Action, all staff and volunteers at your organization can access our member benefits. These include training & conference discounts, networking opportunities, eligibility to host an AmeriCorps VISTA member, advocacy opportunities, and more.
Join us »
Learning & Networking
Note: All event postings are from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. See our full trainings & events calendar. Have something coming up that we should list? Let us know!
Hosted by CSH
Home Visits in Supportive Housing, 8/19: Register
Housing Counselor Corps Webinar, 8/24: Register
2021 Member Meeting: Roundtable with State Legislators, 9/1: Register
New Opportunities for Sealing Eviction Records in Illinois, 9/9: Register
Hosted by The Chicago Community Trust
We Rise Together: Spurring Transformative Neighborhood Investment, 9/13: Register
Lender Lunch & Learn for Housing Counselors: Second Federal / Self- Help Federal Credit Union, 9/15: Register
Hosted by Forefront
Toward Racial Equity: A Conversation with the Communities of Illinois, 9/21: Register
What We're Sharing
The HUD Eviction Protection Grant Program supports experienced legal service providers in offering legal assistance at no cost to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. Apply by 9/8/2021. (funding opportunity)
The National Fair Housing Alliance has released their 2021 Fair Housing Trends Report. The report documents housing discrimination complaints filed last year at the local, state, and national level, and details important legal victories regarding fair housing in 2020. (resource)
'Great period of uncertainty' as eviction bans face expirations, court challenges, Capitol News Illinois, 8/11/21 (news)
State to offer court-based assistance program after eviction moratorium ends, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/9/21 (news)
Pritzker Signs Bills Expanding Affordable Housing Funding Incentives, WTTW, 7/29/21 (news)
New Illinois laws create affordable housing for thousands, assist more families with utility payments, WEEK 25 News, 7/29/21 (news)
Illinois eviction moratorium ends soon, experts expect rise in homelessness, WICS ABC Newschannel 20, 7/29/21 (news)
Illinois could soon have a new affordable housing incentive - and it could work, both developers and advocates say, Chicago Tribune, 7/26/21 (news)
Central Illinois Affordable Housing Shortage Unchanged by Pandemic, WGLT, 7/20/21 (news)
Access Living, Community Development Organizer – Immigration & Latinx
All Chicago, Director of Communications & Program Coordinator
Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Program Counsel
Facing Forward, Director of Development
Full Circle Communities, Project Analyst
Forefront, Manager of Membership and Member Engagement
Housing Opportunities for Women, Program Manager
IHDA, Asset Manager & Manager of Strategic Solutions
Justine Peterson, Finance Associate
La Casa Norte, Grants Manager
Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, Supportive Services Director
Metropolitan Planning Council, President & CEO
Navicore, Credit Counselor & File Clerk
North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Development Associate & Staff Attorney, Housing Law Practice
Phoenix Community Development Services, Director of Housing & Community Development & Homeless Outreach/Housing Specialist
Renaissance Social Services, Inc., Housing Liaison
ReVive Center for Housing and Healing, Manager of Supportive Services
Sarah's Circle, Rapid Rehousing Case Manager, Individual Giving Associate, & Program Staff (Interim Housing Program)
SHPA, Northern Illinois Coordinator
South Suburban Housing Center, Housing Counseling Program Manager
Your support makes a difference. Let's build an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable place to call home.
Housing Action Illinois
67 E. Madison Street, Suite 1603 | Chicago, Illinois 60603
312-939-6074 | email@example.com