colorful houses in a row

February 2022 Newsletter: Housing Champions | Policy Focus | Affordable Housing Tax Incentives | Rental & Mortgage Assistance | Housing Counselor Dispatch |  AmeriCorps Updates | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

Celebrating Staff Milestones
This year, along with our organization's 35th anniversary, we're celebrating landmark staff anniversaries: 20 years for Policy Director Bob Palmer and 10 for Director of Capacity Building David Young! Thanks to Bob and David for your decades of hard work.

Thank a Housing Champion

We are grateful to everyone who helps protect and expand affordable housing and end homelessness in Illinois. This year, as part of celebrating our 35th anniversary, we want to show our appreciation for the housing champions that make a difference in their communities every day. 

Help us thank the Illinoisans who are making our communities better. Who inspires you? Who has gone above and beyond to make a program or campaign successful? Who has mentored you or done work you admire? Submit someone for acknowledgment. We will feature them on our Wall of Housing Champions at our conference this October. 

Submit someone for acknowledgment »

Women climbing a ladder and reaching for a star on a podium while her friends watch

Policy Focus

Join Campaign to End Source of Income Discrimination

People seeking rental housing in Illinois are regularly denied the opportunity to even apply for available housing opportunities simply because landlords or property management companies choose not to accept their legal form of payment—such as SSI, Housing Choice Vouchers, veteran vouchers, emergency COVID assistance, and other non-wage income. This is known as source of income (SOI) discrimination.

As a member of the Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing, we are working to pass state legislation to establish protections against SOI discrimination. Learn more here and endorse the legislation as an organization or as an individual »


Graphic of people and pen

Urge Legislators to Act on Build Back Better

The historic $150 billion investment in affordable housing included in the Build Back Better Act continues to be at risk of elimination as Congress and the White House negotiate a slimmed-down version of the bill. Urge Illinois legislators to protect housing investments in any reconciliation bill that moves forward.

Take action »


New IL Property Tax Program Incentivizes Affordable Housing

A new Affordable Housing Special Assessment Program has officially launched. This program, which Housing Action Illinois and our allies advocated for as part of the affordable housing omnibus bill that passed in the Illinois General Assembly last year, establishes a property tax assessment incentive to encourage owners of multifamily buildings with 7 or more units to invest in their properties and keep rents affordable. Read our breakdown of the program here

Cook County property owners with affordable rents and income-eligible tenants can apply here for an assessment reduction under this program by applying . Applications are due March 31.

Affordable Housing Special Assessment Program Press Conference

Rental & Mortgage Assistance Updates

Statewide Mortgage Assistance Coming This Spring

Illinois has received approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on its Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) program to provide assistance to Illinois homeowners who have struggled to pay their mortgage due to COVID-19. The state will begin accepting applications in Spring 2022. Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will host a series of webinars beginning later this month to provide information on preparing to apply for funds and other issues. Sign up for updates.

piggy bank, wallet, keys, calculator

2021 Rental Assistance Program Stats

IHDA recently released a report on their 2021 distribution of emergency rental assistance funds through the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP). Supported by more than $584 million in federal funding, ILRPP was one of the first statewide programs in the country to fully disburse 100% of available funds. This funding assisted 63,964 low-and extremely low-income Illinois renters to stay safe at home and avoid eviction during the pandemic.

While this program is no longer accepting applications, some other emergency rental assistance programs are still open. Learn more and find ongoing updates here.


Housing Counselor Dispatch

Starting in March, we look forward to bringing a robust calendar of training opportunities supported by our recently announced HUD Training Award. In addition to trainings on critical returning topics, such as offering virtual counseling services, helping clients avoiding eviction, alternatives to foreclosure, and disaster preparedness, you can expect workshops on new topics, including:

  • Rebuilding credit for consumers in debt
  • Triaging for new housing counselors and intake specialists
  • Making the case for funding your program
  • Emotional wellness
  • HUD data compliance
  • Loan modifications after COVID-19

…and more. Stay tuned; we’ll be opening registration for workshops soon.

Image of house with keys

AmeriCorps Updates

Apply Now to Join the Fight Against Poverty

Are you interested in making a difference in your community while gaining professional experience with a nonprofit? Each year, Housing Action matches AmeriCorps members with community-based organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps members take on a variety of roles at their host organizations, all aimed at helping our communities thrive. They expand the scale of programs and services, implement new projects, and build capacity to further the long-term sustainability of anti-poverty programs at their host organizations.

AmeriCorps members serve full-time at their host organizations. Service terms last either 12 months or for 8 to 10 weeks (Summer Associates serve between June and August).

Learn more and apply today »

Three people in AmeriCorps uniforms sitting around a table and talking

Victory for Fair Housing

The National Fair Housing Alliance and 20 local fair housing organizations from throughout the country have reached a landmark $53 million agreement with Fannie Mae. The settlement resolves the groups’ claims that Fannie Mae maintained and marketed its foreclosed homes in predominantly White neighborhoods while allowing homes in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods to fall into disrepair. The plaintiff organizations will manage and disburse the settlement funds to promote homeownership, neighborhood stabilization, access to credit, property rehabilitation, and residential development in the 39 metropolitan areas at issue in the case.

Congratulations to Housing Action members HOPE Fair Housing Center, Open Communities, and South Suburban Housing Center, who joined NFHA as plaintiffs. Learn more.

block house next to a gavel

Learning & Networking 

Events from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Submit your listing »

Hosted by Illinois Housing Council
Low Income Housing Tax Credit 101, 2/17: Register

Hosted by Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing & Communities Unite
Eviction Sealing Clinic, 2/22: Register

Member Benefits Orientation, 2/23: Register

Hosted by Woodstock Institute
Community Lending Fact Book Info Session, 2/23: Register

Hosted by Chicago Rehab Network
Community Development and Empowerment Series, 2/25: Register

Hosted by National Low Income Housing Coalition
Housing Policy Forum 2022: Achieving Housing Justice, 3/22 & 3/23: Register

Hosted by Illinois Housing Council
2022 Illinois Affordable Housing Forum, 3/22-3/24 & 3/31: Register

Hosted by Access Living
Building Our Power Together/Construyendo Poder Juntos, 4/18-5/20: Apply

See all Housing Action events »


What We're Sharing

Pritzker Administration Awards $55 Million to Improve Housing Accessibility and Stability for Vulnerable Residents, Illinois Housing Development Authority, 1/26/22 (news)

Builders, housing advocates await impact of new assessment breaks for affordable units, The Daily Line, 2/8/22 (news)

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has released their report, America's Rental Housing 2022, where they analyze the demand for rental housing during the second year of the pandemic. (report)

The Illinois Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund grant program is accepting applications from Illinois nonprofits working on Food Programs, Housing Programs, and Workforce & Economic Development. Applicants must have annual budgets under $1 million. Apply by 3/31/22. (funding opportunity)

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is funding the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or new construction of projects that serve the most vulnerable populations through their Housing for Justice Involved Individuals (HJIIP) Program. Apply by 3/31/22. (funding opportunity) 


Who's Hiring

Jobs from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Submit your opening »

Housing Action Illinois is collaborating with the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) to expand the field of housing counseling, and NHRC has launched a jobs board to match HUD-certified housing counselors and agencies with open positions. Find or post a housing counseling position at »

Chicago Urban League, Community Outreach Worker

Dove Inc., Coordinated Entry/Outreach Specialist

Full Circle Communities, Project Manager

HANA Center, Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) Team Lead

IFF, Various Positions

Metropolitan Family Services | Legal Aid Society, Contracts and Grants Monitor

MorningStar Mission Ministries, Women and Family Case Manager

National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing Policy Analyst & Development Coordinator

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Various Positions

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Director of Development & Staff Attorney, Housing Law Practice

Open Communities, Various Positions

People's Resource Center, Manager of Job Assistance Program

Phoenix Community Development Services, Various Positions

Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Maywood Branch Manager, Oak Park Mortgage Loan Officer & Branch Manager

Supportive Housing Providers Association, Illinois Coordinator, Northern Region

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, HUD Certified Housing Counselor


We are stronger together. Join us in the fight to create an Illinois where everyone has a good, stable place to call home.


Housing Action Illinois
67 E. Madison Street, Suite 1603 | Chicago, Illinois 60603
312-939-6074 |

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