June 2021 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Rent Assistance | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Welcoming Kaitlyn | AmeriCorps Updates | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs
Celebrating New Investments & Long-Needed Policy Changes
We're celebrating a number of key wins from the recent Illinois General Assembly session. A new understanding of housing as healthcare and willingness to invest in access to stable, affordable homes brought together many allies and legislative champions. Landmark accomplishments include the Affordable Housing Omnibus Bill, which creates tax incentives and funding to preserve and create affordable housing, and the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act, which creates critical protections for renters and homeowners while ensuring people with the lowest incomes will be prioritized for federal rent assistance.
Illinois legislators also committed significant federal funding from the American Rescue Plan—more than $114 million—toward urgent housing needs.
Learn more in our 2021 General Assembly Session Wrap-Up »
Tell Your Members of Congress: Opportunity Starts at Home
Right now, we have a rare chance to increase federal housing resources for people with the lowest incomes. The Biden Administration and Congress are currently negotiating what will be included in the American Jobs Plan infrastructure package. Tell your members of Congress to:
- Expand rental assistance to every eligible household
- Maximize funding for affordable housing in the infrastructure bill
- Provide emergency housing assistance to help stabilize families in a crisis
Speak up now »
President Biden Proposes 15% Increase to HUD’s Budget
We are glad to see a proposed $9 billion (15%) increase to HUD’s budget in President Biden's full fiscal year 2022 budget. This would create the largest single expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers in the program’s history, provide substantial federal investments in affordable homes, and increase housing assistance to families with the greatest need. For more details, see the National Low Income Housing Coalition's updated budget chart and analysis.
Illinois Halt on Evictions
The Illinois State Eviction Moratorium is active through June 26. The Federal Eviction Moratorium is active through June 30.
Governor Pritzker has announced that he plans to phase out the state eviction moratorium by August. We are making recommendations about how to do this in a responsible manner. We will share on our COVID-19 resources page as they become available.
Emergency Rental Assistance to Re-Open June 28
Federally funded programs throughout Illinois are assisting households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide program administered by IHDA, which is distributing the majority of available funds, has closed its first round of applications. A second round will open from June 28–July 18. Learn more about federally funded rental assistance programs in Illinois »
Housing Counselor Dispatch
American Rescue Plan Funding for Housing Counseling
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies will soon receive a collective $100 million allocated by the American Rescue Plan. These funds are being made available through NeighborWorks America's Housing Stability Counseling Program. Housing Action Illinois is applying for funds on behalf of the housing counseling agencies in our Intermediary network.
HUD Certification Deadline Fast Approaching
As of August 1, 2021, all housing counseling offered in connection with HUD programs must be provided by HUD certified housing counselors. To become certified, you need to take the HUD Housing Counseling certification exam. Studying for this test can be stressful—but it doesn’t have to be! Join us to get ready. We've redesigned and restructured our online study group to be more interactive and adapt to the needs of each cohort.
Register for Online Study Group: Version 3.0 from July 20–22 »
Report: What Has Been Happening in the Housing Market?
Home prices rose 13.2% nationally in March. Record-low interest rates fueled a refinancing boom last year, and borrowers able to refinance lowered their interest rate from 4.3% to 3.1% on average. But during COVID-19, 14% of all US mortgage holders entered forbearance, and while many have exited forbearance now, outcomes are still uncertain for 2.3 million borrowers—most of whom are low-income or families of color.
These are just a couple of key findings from this year's annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which shows that even as the US economy continues to recover, the inequalities amplified by the pandemic remain front and center. Read the report »
Welcoming Kaitlyn Greenholt
Housing Action is excited to welcome Kaitlyn Greenholt for a year of service as our Communications & Membership AmeriCorps VISTA. A recent graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Kaitlyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she worked as a Research Fellow on a Fair Housing Testing Project to report instances of socioeconomic discrimination in the city. In her senior year, Kaitlyn wrote her undergraduate Honors thesis on the Housing Choice Voucher’s role in combating contemporary de facto segregation in Chicago. We look forward to having her on our team!
Apply Now to Serve as an AmeriCorps Member
Housing Action Illinois' AmeriCorps network places AmeriCorps members with host organizations throughout Illinois. We're still seeking candidates for full-year terms. Join us to serve your community and fight poverty.
See open positions »
Alumni Spotlight: From AmeriCorps to Assistant Attorney General
“People often find themselves in poverty through no fault of their own," reflects Dan Kallio, AmeriCorps alumni and currently Assistant Attorney General for Illinois. During his year of service with the Center for Elder and Disability Law, he "encountered dozens of individuals who had seemingly made all the right choices in their lives, but due to circumstances beyond their control (health issues, the loss of a spouse, loss of a job, etc.) they found themselves in a position they never anticipated that they would be in.”
Learn about Dan's service experience »
Learning & 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 Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Horizons Virtual Creative Writing Showcase, 6/25: Streaming on Facebook
Member Event: How Housing Professionals Can Support People Facing Homelessness, 6/24: Register
Bankruptcy: What Housing Counselors Need to Know, 7/8: Register
Hosted by Metropolitan Planning Council
Accelerating Climate Action: The Power of Regional Planning and Municipal Implementation, 7/13: Register
Online Study Group for the HUD Exam 3.0, 7/20–7/22: Register
Hosted by Forefront
Toward Racial Equity: Decatur, 7/20: Register
3by30 is a newly launched plan by the Black Homeownership Collective that identifies tangible, actionable, and scalable steps that will make it possible to increase Black homeownership by 3 million net new homeowners by 2030. (resource)
Racial Inequality In How Chicago-Area Homes Are Valued Is Increasing, WBEZ, 5/17/21 (news)
Chicago Changes How It Allocates Tax Credits to Improve Racial Equity, Shelterforce, 6/4/21 (news)
Between the Leaves: On Housing, Canopy / Architecture + Design, LLC's first book in a series on designing for a more equitable world, launched on June 9 and features essays from Housing Action and several of our members. (publication)
Uncharted's Economic Inequality Initiative supports early-stage solutions addressing economic inequality and will award funds to 8 very early-stage social entrepreneurs, movement builders, and nonprofit innovators. Application deadline 6/28/21. (funding)
HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that are focused on directing resources to address three core goals: Housing, People, and Neighborhood. Application deadline 7/13/21. (funding)
The Chicago Department of Housing is accepting applications for the Qualified Allocation Plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Application deadline 7/2/21. (funding)
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.
Housing Action Illinois
Housing Action Illinois is recruiting for full-year AmeriCorps positions hosted through our network at member organizations. Join us to serve your community and fight poverty. Learn more and apply »
Access Living, Assistive Technology/Community Supports Coordinator & Staff Accountant
All Chicago, Expedited Housing Initiative Associate
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, Executive Director
Chicago Urban League, South Side Community Reparations Coalition Project Manager
Chinese American Service League, Policy & Research Analyst
Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Building Maintenance Technician & Bilingual Emergency Assistance Coordinator
Facing Forward to End Homelessness, Housing Navigator
Full Circle Communities, Regional Supervisor & Acquisitions Manager
Habitat for Humanity Chicago, Volunteer Programs Manager & ReStore Operations Ambassador
IFF, Manager of Special Assets & Credit Analyst
La Casa Norte, Rapid Re-housing Case Manager & Grant Manager
Northwest Side Housing Center, Director of Community Organizing & Teen Reach Coordinator
Preservation of Affordable Housing, Community Impact Coordinator
Renaissance Social Services, Inc., Housing Liaison & Community Outreach Manager
South Suburban Housing Center, Director of Fair Housing Enforcement
Thresholds, Chief of Community Engagement & Equity
Your support makes a difference. Let's 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org