January 2020 Newsletter: Annual Toast to Housing Justice | Policy Focus | Community Revitalization Challenge | Census 2020 | Housing Counselor Dispatch | A Place to Call Home | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs
Get Your Tickets & Toast to Housing Justice
Shake off the winter blues and make a toast to housing justice at Housing Action's fourth annual benefit on March 31! Join us for a fun evening of pizza, beer, music, and friendly faces—and a chance to win great prizes at our raffle and silent auction. Best of all, by attending, you'll support Housing Action's work toward an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable place to call home.
Each year, we work on a broad range of issues aligned with our core mission of creating an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable place to call home. This agenda outlines priorities for the 2020 Illinois General Assembly session, as well as local and federal level work—measures that we believe will help families and communities across Illinois thrive.
HUD’s Proposal to Gut the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule
A recent proposal from HUD to gut the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule represents a complete retreat from efforts to undo historic, government-driven patterns of housing discrimination and segregation. This proposed rule shows a fundamental misunderstanding or willful misreading of the Fair Housing Act and its obligations; it would allow communities to ignore the essential racial desegregation obligations of fair housing law. Housing Action Illinois is working with allies across the nation, such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, to urge HUD to abandon this ill-conceived proposal, reinstitute the 2015 rule, and resume its implementation.
1+ Million Cook County Residents Now Protected from Housing Discrimination
The Just Housing Amendment is now in effect in Cook County, protecting more than one million residents and their families by giving people with arrest and conviction records a fair chance at finding housing. The measure, a major step toward economic and racial justice for families, ensures that housing providers do not consider arrests, juvenile records, and sealed or expunged records when evaluating an application; protects tenants from being denied based on convictions greater than three years old; and requires providers to conduct an individualized assessment for those with convictions less than three years old.
Housing Action is excited to announce the second round of the Community Revitalization Challenge, CRC 2.0. The CRC is an initiative to connect community-based organizations with financial institutions to design and implement projects that are potentially Community Reinvestment Act-eligible. These collaborations will expand access to affordable housing and promote economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents throughout Illinois. Learn more or register for the webinar »
Getting Out the Count for Census 2020
A complete, accurate census count is critical for us and our communities. The results affect the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding, determine how many legislators Illinois has in the U.S. House of Representatives, and much more. This year, Housing Action is joining other groups in our state to ensure that Hard-to-Count communities are included. Our focus will be on Suburban Cook County, and we’ll be working alongside many allies on a robust, non-partisan Get Out the Count initiative that focuses on racial and ethnic minority populations, renters, people experiencing homelessness, and low-income populations. Together, we can ensure that our community receives the resources it needs.
Interested in partnering on our work in Suburban Cook County? Let us know »
Housing counselors at 27 Illinois agencies have passed the HUD certification exam so far. Congratulations to:
Agora Community Services • C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corp • CEDA of Cook County • Center for Changing Lives • Chicago Urban League • Chinese American Service League • Community Partners for Affordable Housing • Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northern Illinois • Cornerstone Community Development Corp. • H.O.M.E. DuPage • Embarras River Basin Agency • Genesis Housing Development Corp. • Great Lakes Credit Union • Lake County Housing Authority • LUCHA • Mid Central Community Action • NHS of Chicago • NW HomeStart, Inc. • Partners in Community Building • Restoration America • Rock Island Economic Growth Corp. • South Suburban Housing Center • Spanish Coalition for Housing • Springfield Housing Authority • Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis • Will County Center for Community Concerns
Is your agency on the list? Do you still need to take the test? We can help you prepare:
Erica & Tiffany of The Up Center celebrate passing the HUD certification exam
Stories from Supportive Housing Residents
"I'm dreaming again," writes Stanley, who joined Housing Action Illinois and Supportive Housing Providers Association for a storytelling workshop in Hillside last year. After reflecting on his tragic family losses and subsequent descent into depression and suicidal ideation, he shares, "That feels so good, to be able to dream."
Stanley is one of 18 storytellers who have filled the pages of A Place to Call Home, a new collection published jointly by Housing Action and Supportive Housing Providers Association. The publication shares the experiences of Illinoisans who have been homeless, in their own words. Their lives and perspectives help shed light on a complex range of overlapping issues, from living with a mental illness or disability to surviving domestic violence and sexual assault.
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.