August 2019 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Annual Conference | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Acronym Guide | Member Spotlight | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

August 2019 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Annual Conference | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Acronym Guide | Member Spotlight | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs

Policy Focus

Defending Civil Rights

On Monday, in an extreme move against a core civil rights protection, HUD proposed a rule that would dismantle an important enforcement tool for combating discrimination by financial institutions, insurance companies, and housing providers. The rule would dramatically weaken disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act, making it virtually impossible to prove systemic discrimination in housing and lending. We will be working with allies across the country to oppose this attack on fair housing. Learn more »

Opposing the Public Charge Rule

Last week, the Trump Administration released the final revised “Public Charge” rule, designed to severely restrict low-income immigrants and their children from accessing critical and potentially life-saving benefits, including food, health, and housing assistance. We applaud Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul for joining a multi-state legal challenge to this plan, which will deny visa renewals or permanent residency for immigrants who use or may use government assistance programs. Housing Action is speaking out against this rule alongside allies in the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition. Learn more and take action.

Expanding Homelessness Prevention in Illinois

Some good news on the local front: Governor Pritzker signed HB 3331 into law, expanding access to grant assistance for families at risk of becoming homeless. We are proud to have worked alongside Rep. Delia Ramirez, Sen. Laura Fine, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and other allies to pass this amendment to the Homelessness Prevention Act. Learn more »


Last Chance for Early Bird Registration!

At our 2019 Housing Matters! Conference, you'll get updates on the latest housing issues, hear from leaders in the field, learn best practices, and network. Join workshops in four tracks: 

  • Affordable Housing Development
  • Ending Homelessness
  • Housing Counseling
  • Public Policy Advocacy

The conference will be on October 24 & 25 in Bloomington, Illinois. Reserve your spot now and save $50!


Housing Counselor Dispatch

Countdown to Certification

The August 1, 2020 deadline for housing counselors to become certified is less than a year away. Are you ready to pass the HUD Certification Exam? Housing Action's Capacity Building Specialist Wanda Collins is hosting another Online Study Group this December to help you prepare. Each webinar-based session is dedicated to a different section of the exam, helping you gear up in a supportive, peer-learning environment. Study with us »

Congratulations to all the newly certified housing counselors who have passed the HUD certification exam! Are you one of them? We want to hear about your experience studying for and taking the exam. Fill out our survey »

Goodbye CounselorMax & Launchpad, Hello Compass

NeighborWorks America has announced that they are launching a CMS (Client Management System) for housing counseling agencies called NeighborWorks Compass in Spring 2020. They will be transitioning over their CounselorMax clients to the new CMS. They also have a formal agreement to acquire Launchpad, a CMS developed in 2018 by the Housing Partnership Network and powered by the Salesforce platform, and plan to integrate it with this new system. Learn more »


Know Your Acronyms

CDBG, CDFI, CFPB, CSBG . . . sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the acronyms used in housing and homelessness discussions, and Google doesn't always get the answer right. (ESG might mean "Environmental, Social, and Governance factors" in some contexts, but not this one!) Our new acronym guide makes it easy for you to navigate the alphabet soup by listing acronyms commonly used in Illinois in the housing and homelessness fields all in one place.


Empowering Women; Ending Homelessness

Housing Action is excited to begin working with a new member organization, Sarah's Circle! Welcome to the Housing Action family.

During the bitter cold of January 1979, three friends began operating a women’s drop-in center out of a second-floor apartment in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Staffed exclusively by volunteers, it served fewer than ten women per day. The center became known as “Sarah’s Circle,” after the resident tabby cat that kept the women company.

Today—forty years later—Sarah’s Circle continues to provide refuge to women who are experiencing homelessness or need a safe space, serving approximately 800 women a year through three core programs. “Sarah’s Circle changed my life,” says Sharon, who found her home with the help of Sarah’s Circle staff. 

Sharon (left), who found her home with the help of Sarah's Circle staff, and Carol (right), a volunteer at Sarah's Circle.


What We're Sharing 


Make a final push for fair housing for ex-offenders, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/22/19

'To End Homelessness, Partner With Landlords,' Says Rockford, WNIJ, 8/14/19

Trump Policy Favors Wealthier Immigrants for Green Cards, The New York Times, 8/12/19


Crossroads Fund's Critical Response Fund provides funding for organizations to protect, empower and support those facing racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and xenophobia. Applications due by November 27.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has funding available for the creation of community-based permanent supportive housing. Eligible developments will contain no more than 25 units. Applications due by October 18.

Resources & Reports 

The City of Chicago's 2019 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) draft is available for review. Public comments will be accepted for 30 days. See Commissioner Marisa Novara's memo for more info. The final QAP will be issued on September 9.

The Metropolitan Planning Council's recent report, Re-Entry Housing Issues in Illinois: The Current Situation, Challenges, and Possible Solutions, discusses how to find stable housing for the thousands of people who depart state prisons and jails each year. 


Learning & Networking

See full Housing Action Illinois trainings calendar or general events calendar.

Racial Equity Data - Community Conversation 8/29 (Chicago): Register

Roundtable Discussion: Sexual Harassment in Housing 9/4 (Chicago): Register

Wealth Planning for LGBTQ+ Individuals, Couples, and Families 9/18 (Webinar): Register

Housing Fair organized by National Housing Resource Center 9/28 (St. Louis): Register

2019 Housing Matters! Conference 10/24 & 10/25 (Bloomington): Register

HUD Certification Exam Online Study Group 12/10 - 12/13, 12/17 (Webinar): Register

Have something coming up that we should list? Let us know! 


Who's Hiring

It's recruitment season for Housing Action Illinois' AmeriCorps VISTA network! We have full-year VISTA positions open for candidates who want to serve their community at one of our member organizations. 

See our VISTA positions »

A Safe Haven, Senior Grant Writer

Access Living, Public Relations Coordinator

All Chicago, Accounts Payable Associate

Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, Various Positions

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, Various Positions

Chicago HOPES for Kids, Site Coordinator

Connections for the Homeless, Individual Giving + Communications Manager

DuPage PADS, Various Positions

Facing Forward to End Homelessness, Skilled Assessor & Bilingual Skilled Assessor

Forefront, Manager of Corporate & Foundation Partnerships

Heartland Alliance, Senior Project Manager

H.O.M.E., Various Positions

Housing Forward, Housing Case Manager & Employment Training Specialist

La Casa Norte, Various Positions

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Senior Underwriter

Mercy Housing, Philanthropy Coordinator, Corporate & Foundation Grants Specialist

Metropolitan Planning Council, Various Positions

Mid Central Community Action Agency, Financial Coach/Housing Counselor

NHS of Chicago, Program Coordinator

RefugeeOne, Housing Case Manager

The Resurrection Project, Various Positions

Shriver Center, Director of Housing Justice

Spanish Coalition for Housing, Various Positions

UPholdings, Project Analyst

Housing Action Illinois
67 E. Madison Street  Suite 1603 |  Chicago,  Illinois  60603

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