June 2020 Newsletter: 2020 Census | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | COVID-19 Relief | AmeriCorps VISTA | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs
At Housing Action Illinois, we stand with #BlackLivesMatter and the protesters marching throughout the state and country for racial justice. We have long known that racial justice demands fair, affordable, and accessible housing. Who lives where—and in what kind of home—is deeply constrained by systemic and individual discriminatory policies and practices that may have shifted forms but have persisted for centuries.
This has to change.
We commit to advancing racial justice and housing justice today, tomorrow, and all the days after, until we live in a society where everyone has a real opportunity to thrive.
Help us spread the word about the importance of counting immigrants, refugees, and culturally diverse Illinois communities in the Census Thunderclap at 11:30 am. June is Illinois Census Month, so be sure to save the date for the Juneteenth Thunderclap on Friday, and the Pride Thunderclap on June 26.
Illinois Legislators Pass $396 Million in Rent & Mortgage Assistance
In late May, the Illinois General Assembly held a very abbreviated session and passed a final FY21 state budget that provides $396 million from the state's portion of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to the Illinois Housing Development Authority, primarily for rent and mortgage assistance. The funding, a significant increase from the original proposal, will benefit those impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. In particular, we thank Representative Delia Ramirez, a strong champion for housing issues during this session, and our supporters, for your tireless advocacy efforts.
Federal Banking Regulator Weakens Anti-Redlining Rules
On May 20, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued new rules regarding the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) despite strong opposition by advocates, legislators, and communities—and without the support of the other two federal banking regulators. The new rules weaken the CRA, a critical tool for promoting bank investment in low-income communities and communities of color.
Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds for Housing Flowing to Illinois
In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion direct spending bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, which provided $12 billion in housing and community development resources. To date, Illinois communities have been allocated $258 million for three formula-based HUD programs. On June 9, HUD posted the amounts for the second and final Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) allocation; state and local governments in Illinois are receiving $69.2 million to assist sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness, as well as very low-income households at risk of homelessness. Total ESG funding for Illinois from the CARES Act is $118.6 million.
Housing Action Awarded $1 Million in Housing Counseling Funds
HUD has awarded $1,000,206 to Housing Action Illinois to distribute to agencies in our Housing Counseling Intermediary network. HUD granted housing counseling funds to 204 recipients across the country, and Housing Action is proud to have received the seventh largest award. Stay tuned for our subgrantee announcement.
Tomorrow the National Housing Resource Center is facilitating an open conversation about racism and unconscious bias, recent events, and race-related discrimination seen or faced as housing counselors or among housing counseling agencies. Our Director of Capacity Building, David Young, will join a panel of speakers sharing their perspectives, and attendees will have the opportunity to share their own. David will be discussing WBEZ's recent report on home mortgage lending inequality, as well as how he has personally been impacted as a homeowner of color living in Chicago.
The conversation is at 12 pm CDT, tomorrow, June 18. Register »
Responding to COVID-19: Catholic Urban Programs
When COVID-19 hit at Holy Angels—an eighteen-bed emergency shelter operated by Catholic Urban Programs—the staff worked to create as much social distance as possible for the families it serves. The agency created healthier living arrangements for its clients, using a $10,000 subgrant from Housing Action Illinois. The subgrant was part of a larger effort to support homeless service providers with COVID-19 relief funding. Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing Action has regranted $340,000 to thirty direct service organizations throughout Illinois.
Lady Gywanna Montague explains how Catholic Urban Programs used its relief funding.
Welcome, 2020 VISTA Summer Associates!
Our 2020 VISTA Summer Associates will begin serving their eight- to ten-week terms at host sites in communities across Illinois this month. The twenty VISTAs in this year’s summer cohort will work on a variety of projects aimed at ending poverty and helping to expand and improve the availability of decent, affordable, accessible housing. Welcome, VISTA Summer Associates!
All Chicago Making Homelessness History • Centro Romero • City of Rockford • Cornerstone Community Development Corporation • Garfield Park Community Council • Hesed House • Housing Action Illinois • Housing Choice Partners • Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation • Northside Community Development Corporation • Northwest Side Housing Center • Southside Community Center
Project Implicit offers a variety of implicit association tests online. Take one of the assessments to learn about hidden biases and contribute to research on implicit social cognition—thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness.
Housing Action continues to compile COVID-19 information and resources, including a section on Nonprofit Operations & Funding with national, statewide, and local opportunities.
Learning & Networking
Note: Due to COVID-19, we are only sharing online opportunities. All event postings are from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. Have something coming up that we should list? Let us know!
NLIHC Updates on Coronavirus and Housing/Homelessness, Mondays at 1:30 pm CST:Register
Solidarity & Resistance in Illinois' Social Impact Sector, 6/24: Register
Keeping Chicago’s Immigrant Community Housed and Safe in a Time of Crisis, 6/25: Register
Learning Curve: How Housing Counselors Are Going Virtual, 7/9: Register
Note: Beginning with this issue of our newsletter, job postings are a benefit for Housing Action Illinois members only.
Become an AmeriCorps VISTA Member
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.
Housing Action Illinois staff will be working remotely until further notice. Our team of dedicated, passionate staff members continue to support housing nonprofits and homeless service providers and advocate for Illinoisans facing housing instability during this difficult time. Please consider joining us in our efforts by supporting our work.
Housing Action Illinois 67 E. Madison Street,Suite 1603 |Chicago,Illinois60603