January 2021 Newsletter: Protecting Our Democracy | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Breaking Down LIHTC | AmeriCorps | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

Protecting Our Democracy

Today is Inauguration Day, and we hope to see a peaceful transition of power to President-Elect Biden.
The attack on the Capitol on January 6 was a clear attack on our democracy. Housing Action Illinois condemns white supremacy and attempts to overturn or de-legitimize the results of a free, fair election. We are deeply committed to nonviolent, democratic approaches to advancing social justice and creating safe, healthy communities for all.


Policy Focus

Illinois Lame Duck Wrap-Up

Last week, the Illinois General Assembly met to consider legislation developed by the state’s Legislative Black Caucus. The Black Caucus shared an agenda with four pillars—education, healthcare, criminal justice, and economic opportunities—all centering dismantling systemic racism in Illinois. 

We are excited to share that the legislation that that passed created:

  • Standards for Illinois Public Housing Authorities to use in the criminal background screening process.
  • The Illinois Community Reinvestment Act, which establishes an evaluation process to help ensure state-regulated financial institutions better meet the needs of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, including areas where there is a lack of access to banking and lending services.

Read our full summary »

While in session, the Illinois House of Representatives selected a new Speaker of the House, Representative Chris Welch. The outgoing Speaker, Mike Madigan, has held the position for nearly four decades. Representative Welch is the first Black legislator elected as Illinois Speaker of the House. Housing Action Illinois congratulates Speaker Welch and looks forward to working together.

$25 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief, Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended

The federal COVID-19 relief package passed in December includes $25B for emergency rental assistance, $834,709,843 of which will come to Illinois. These funds are critical for renters on the brink and small landlords who rely on rental income.

The legislation also extends the national CDC eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent to January 31. (In Illinois, Governor Pritzker has extended the stronger state moratorium on eviction through February 6.)

President-Elect Biden Releases COVID-19 Relief Proposal

Last week, President-Elect Biden released his $1.9 trillion legislative proposal for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, including essential resources and protections for America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. Among other provisions, the package includes:

  • $30 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance
  • $5 billion to address the health and housing needs of people experiencing homelessness
  • An extension of the federal eviction moratorium through September 2021
  • $1,400 stimulus checks

Read more »

Help Protect Renters in Cook County

The Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) will create basic rights for 245,000+ renters by creating safeguards against illegal lockouts, procedures for withholding rent until building problems are addressed, protections against unfair lease terms, preventing landlords from charging absurdly high late fees and security deposits, and more. The bill going to a vote next week represents compromise while still establishing strong tenant protections that will create a fairer rental landscape for all Cook County renters.

Urge your commissioner to support the RTLO »

Join our RTLO Twitterstorm on 1/21 (tomorrow) »


Housing Counselor Updates

Join New Trainings This February & March

We're excited to welcome back Laura Royer of The Royer Consultancy for a batch of new trainings designed for housing counselors. Join us in February for a pair of workshops focused on nonprofit funding:

Then, in March, join us for a three-part series on email marketing:

Want to see what else we've got coming up? Check out our full trainings & events calendar »


Breaking Down LIHTC: Leveraging the Tax Credit for Your Community

This February, we're bringing a workshop with Cat Vielma of Red Stone Equity Partners to help our members learn how the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) can be used by smaller- and mid-sized nonprofits to support smaller scope projects in urban, suburban, and rural areas. LIHTC provides a tax incentive to encourage investors to finance affordable housing and is the largest source of new affordable housing in the United States.

Free to members, $15 for non-members.

Register to join us on 2/17 »


Last Call: AmeriCorps Host Site Applications

AmeriCorps Members in the Housing Action network help build organizational capacity and expand programming to end homelessness, protect affordable housing, and end poverty. They can recruit volunteers, run fundraising campaigns, develop workshops to educate first-time homeowners, and more. Apply by 5 pm CST on January 29 to be considered as a host site for a year-long or summer AmeriCorps Member in the Housing Action network.

Request an application »

Welcome, James! 

James Miller joined the Housing Action Illinois team as a Capacity Building AmeriCorps VISTA in December 2020. He earned his Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. James is interested in equitable economic development and, while pursuing his Master’s degree, worked on projects in this area with Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. We look forward to having James assess what housing counseling services are offered throughout Illinois and identify areas of need and opportunity.

James Miller Portrait Headshot

Learning and 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 IHC & The Preservation Compact
Government Resources Webinar, 1/26: Register

Hosted by Illinois Partners for Human Service, with Access Living, CCH, HANA Center & Woods Fund
Human Services’ Role in Advocacy: A Call for Collaboration with Grassroots Activists, 1/29: Register

Generating Stable Revenue for Your Nonprofit, 2/2: Register

Let’s Get Strategic: Your Nonprofit’s Revenue, 2/9: Register

Breaking Down LIHTC: Leveraging the Tax Credit for Your Community, 2/17: Register

Member Coffee Hour, 2/18: RSVP to Amina Farha


What We're Sharing

The Housing & Economic Loss Prevention (HELP) has launched a new, free resource available for Illinoisans facing legal problems as a result of the pandemic, such as the threat of eviction or foreclosure, difficulty paying bills, and others. Learn more at COVIDHelpIllinois.org(resource) 

NLIHC’s newest report, Best Practices for State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance Programs, outlines key considerations for implementing an emergency rental assistance (ERA) program using the $25 billion for ERA in the recent COVID-19 relief package. (report) 

Illinois State Treasurer Charitable Trust grant applications are now being accepted. These grants help nonprofits with an annual budget of $1 million or less and can fund initiatives related to housing counseling, supportive services, fair housing, and more. Applications due 3/31/21. (funding)

The Office on Violence Against Women is accepting applications for up to $500,000 to support programs that provide transitional housing, short-term housing, and supportive services for victims who are homeless or in need of transitional housing as a result of a situation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Applications are due 3/2/21. (funding)


Who's Hiring 

Note: All job postings are from Housing Action Illinois, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Have an opportunity we should list? Let us know.

Apna Ghar, Housing Case Manager

All Chicago, Various Positions

Catholic Charities - Archdiocese of Chicago, Director of Government AffairsResident Service Coordinator

Center for Changing Lives, Bilingual Employment CoachDevelopment Associate

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Northern Illinois Community Organizer

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Chief Development Officer

Connections for the Homeless, Community Organizer & Homelessness Prevention Specialist

Economic Security for Illinois, Organizer & Operations Associate

Habitat for Humanity Chicago, Development Director & Senior Operations Manager

Housing Forward, Various Positions

Housing Opportunities for Women, Director of Finance and Accounting & Grants Coordinator

IFF, Various Positions

LUCHA, Director of Programs & Property Manager

Metropolitan Tenants Organization, Organizer

People's Resource Center, Special Initiatives Coordinator

Renaissance Social Services, Inc., Housing Liason

Shriver Center for Poverty Law, Legal Impact Network Program Associate

Supportive Housing Providers Association, Illinois Coordinator - Central & Southern Region


With your support, we can make a difference. Help us 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 | communications@housingactionil.org



Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up to receive our newsletter and updates.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser.