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 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

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.


Policy Focus

Housing Action's 2020 Policy Agenda

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.

Learn more »

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.

Learn more »

Photo of HUD Secretary Ben Carson

Photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe M. Wockenfuss

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.

Learn more »


Join the Community Revitalization Challenge

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 »

Want to help people understand the importance of the census?
Check out and share this Census 101 resource »



Housing Counselor Dispatch

Congratulations, HUD-Certified Housing Counselors

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:

Register for our February online study group »

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. 

Learn more and meet our storytellers »

Participants at Chicago storytelling workshop

Chicago storytelling workshop participants, August 2019


What We're Sharing 


Duckworth, Durbin, Booker Introduce Bill to Enhance Public Housing Oversight and Transparency, Improve Conditions for Residents, Press Release from the Office of Senator Duckworth, 12/18

Just Housing on Reset with Jenn White (audio segment), WBEZ, 1/6

Redlining Would Be Relegalized by CRA Reform ProposalShelterforce, 1/9


The Shriver Center's Racial Justice Institute is a seven-month national leadership program, committed to race-equity as an essential part of anti-poverty advocacy. Apply by 2/28.

The Soros Equality Fellowship awards $100,000 to support emerging long-term innovative leaders impacting the racial justice field. Apply by 2/13.

Resources & Reports 

A Right to Counsel in Eviction: Lessons from New York City (Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative) discusses a 2017 law in New York City that guarantees a right to legal services for tenants facing eviction.

Transforming Community Development through Arts and Culture (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) explores the power of arts and culture to transform the practice of community development.


Learning & Networking

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

Engaging Tenants in Voluntary Services 1/16 (Webinar): Register

MLK Day Dialogue & Service Event with HOPE Fair Housing 1/20 (Glen Ellyn): Register

National Day of Racial Healing Circle: When Paths Cross 1/21 (Chicago): Register

Nonprofit Policy Update from Forefront 1/21 (Galesburg): Register

CRA Modernization: What's At Stake? 1/23 (Chicago): Register

 HUD Certification Exam Online Study Group 2/10–2/14 (Webinar Series): Register 

 Rights & Resources to Prevent & Overcome Eviction 2/15 (Chicago): Register 

2020 Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference 2/19–2/21 (Oakland, CA): Register

Illinois Affordable Housing Forum 3/2–3/3 (Chicago): 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 »

AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Housing Stabilization Coordinator

Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County, Coordinated Entry Program Director

Association for Individual Development, House Manager

Beyond Housing, Grants Manager

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Development Director

Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation, Affordable Housing Acquisition Manager

Chinese American Service League, Various Positions

Connections for the Homeless, Community Case Manager & Housing Case Manager

CSH, Various Positions

Deborah's Place, Development & Grants Manager

DuPage PADS, Director of Interim (Overnight) Housing & Development Coordinator

Erie Neighborhood House, Outreach Coordinator (Housing Outreach and Education Program) & Community Organizer

Heartland Alliance, Program Manager

H.O.M.E., Accounting and Program Evaluation Assistant

Housing Forward, Housing Coordinator

Housing Opportunities for Women, Employment Specialist

Latino Policy Forum, Associate Director

Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing, Legal Director

Lincoln Park Community Services, Case Manager

Metropolitan Planning Council, Various Positions

Mid Central Community Action Agency, Income Support Coach

NAMI Illinois, Executive Director

NHS of Chicago, Various Positions

Northside Community Resources, Fair Housing Testing & Outreach Coordinator

North Side Housing and Supportive Services, Executive Director

The Resurrection Project, Various Positions

Safer Foundation, Project Manager

Sarah's Circle, Foundation & Corporate Giving Manager

Shriver Center, President and Chief Executive Officer

Spanish Coalition for Housing, New City CHA Project Coordinator

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

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