June 2020 Newsletter: 2020 Census | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | COVID-19 Relief | AmeriCorps VISTA | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

June 2020 Newsletter: 2020 Census | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | COVID-19 Relief | AmeriCorps VISTA | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs

In Solidarity

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.

Read our statement and join us in committing to advancing racial justice »


Today is Immigrant & Refugee Census Day of Action

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.

Find sample social media posts and other resources in IL Count Me In 2020's Immigrant and Refugee Thunderclap toolkit »


Policy Focus

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.

Read our 2020 General Assembly Wrap-Up »

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.

Housing Action Illinois joined Woodstock Institute, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, and other Illinois allies in speaking out against the final rules. We also united with a group of 39 allies, including Woodstock Institute, the Office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and the Office of Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs to send a letter urging federal banking regulators to use the CRA to address structural racism embedded in the financial system.

We continue to push for equitable investment in our communities. Interested in joining the CRA Coalition? Let Policy Director Bob Palmer know » 

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.

Learn more about CARES Act funding for housing coming to Illinois »


Housing Counselor Dispatch

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.

Read HUD's press release »

Open Conversation on Racism, Unconcious Bias

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.

Learn how Catholic Urban Programs and other providers are using the funding »

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

Interested in serving as a VISTA? See our full-year openings »


What We're Sharing

Imagining & Demanding Housing Justice in the Time of Coronavirus, CAN-TV, 5/28/20 (video)

Where Banks Don't Lend, WBEZ, 6/3/20 (article)

The devaluing of black property has led to the devaluing of black lives, Vox, 6/9/20 (article)

Learn About Your Implicit Biases (resource)

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.

Permanent Supportive Housing Development Program (funding opportunity)

IHDA has new funding available for the creation of community-based permanent supportive housing. Deadline 8/14. 

COVID-19 Resources Related to Housing & Homelessness  (resource)

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

HECM/HECM Default Training, 7/23 & 7/24: Register

 Designing a Disaster Preparedness Program: What Non-Profits Should Know, 7/27, 7/28, & 7/31: Register

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


Who's Hiring

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. 

See our VISTA positions »

Job Listings

Access Living, Outreach Program Supervisor

All Chicago, Manager of the Student Emergency Fund

Association for Individual Development, Various Positions

Connections for the Homeless, Supportive Housing Case Manager (Bilingual)

C.E.F.S Economic Opportunity Corporation, Housing Counselor

Community & Economic Development Association of Cook County, Various Positions

Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Director of Real Estate Development

Facing Forward to End Homelessness, Communications & Events Manager

Housing Forward, Housing Navigator & Homeless Prevention Case Manager (Bilingual - Spanish)

IFF, Director of Programs and Initiatives

Metropolitan Planning Council, Manager (Housing & Community Development Policy)

PADS Lake County, Housing Case Manager & Program Manager

Phoenix Community Development Services, Community Support Counselor

The Resurrection Project, Director of Financial Wellness & Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

South Suburban PADS, Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager


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

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