May 2021 Newsletter:  Rent Assistance  |  Policy Focus  |  2021 Conference  |  Housing Counselor Dispatch  |  Membership  |  AmeriCorps Update  |  Census Update  |  Learning & Networking  |  What We're Sharing  |  Jobs

Statewide Rent Assistance Is Here

Federally funded programs are opening throughout Illinois to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between state and local governments, the total rent assistance currently available in Illinois is $834.7 million.

A subsequent allocation from the American Rescue Plan will bring the total emergency rent assistance available across the state to almost $1.5 billion.

The statewide program administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which is distributing more than $500 million during this funding round, opened for applications this past Monday.

Learn more & see open programs »

piggy bank, keys, checkbook, and calculator

Policy Focus

IL COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act Creates Critical Protections for Renters & Homeowners

On Monday, May 17, Governor Pritzker signed the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act into law, creating a strong set of protections for Illinoisans struggling to pay their rent or mortgages as a result of unprecedented economic instability caused by the pandemic. The bill:

  • Ensures that people with the lowest incomes and most severe housing needs can access federally funded rent assistance.
  • Seals all eviction records between March 2020 – March 2022 upon filing & expands sealing options for some older eviction records.
  • Creates temporary foreclosure protections for homeowners and small landlords.

Our thanks to the many allies and legislative champions who advocated alongside us to pass this legislation, including (but certainly not limited to!) Representatives Delia Ramirez and Lindsey LaPointe, Senators Omar Aquino and Robert Peters, the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, and the Shriver Center.

Learn more »

Gov Pritzker signing Emergency Housing Act into law

Governor Pritzker at the signing of the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Act

Sign Letter Urging Congress to Enact Bold, Long-Term Housing Solutions

Housing Action Illinois supports the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s  HoUSed campaign to urge Congress to enact bold, long-term legislative housing solutions, including:

  • Expanding rental assistance to every eligible household
  • Expanding and preserving the supply of affordable rental homes
  • Creating a national housing stabilization fund to provide emergency rental assistance to households in crisis
  • Strengthening and enforcing renter protections to address power imbalances

Add your organization today »

Housed campaign logo

Illinois Halt on Eviction Extended

Governor Pritzker has extended the state eviction moratorium through May 29. Tenants who cannot pay their rent must submit a Tenant Declaration Form, available in a number of languages here.

This past Monday, Governor Pritzker announced that he plans to phase out the state eviction moratorium between now and August. We’ll be making recommendations about how to do this in a responsible manner. We will also ask Governor Pritzker to not finalize his decision until we have a better sense of what the pandemic conditions will look like this fall and how effectively emergency rent assistance has been distributed to those in need.

Housed campaign logo

Save the Date: 2021 Housing Matters Conference

After last year’s success, we're holding our annual Housing Matters conference virtually again—and rejoining partners to bring it as part of a national forum!

We'll host plenary sessions with top national speakers and collaborative sessions, while still bringing Illinois-specific workshops on local topics with our state’s experts and decision makers. The forum will take place from October 4–8. Stay tuned for more information.


Housing Counselor Dispatch

Lender Lunch & Learn with Providence Bank

Join Housing Action Illinois for our first virtual Lender Lunch & Learn for housing counselors. You’ll hear from Providence Bank & Trust about their full menu of banking and lending services, learn about their commitment to stewardship within the community, and have the chance to ask questions.

Join us on June 16 »

Providence Bank & Trust logo

HUD Certification Deadline Fast Approaching

Still need to take and pass the HUD Certification Exam? We've redesigned and restructured our online study group to be more interactive and adapt to the needs of each cohort. Join us from July 20–22!

Register for Online Study Group: Version 3.0 »


Members Are at the Heart of Our Work

Membership with Housing Action Illinois means joining a network of more than 150 organizations across the state—including housing counseling agencies, homeless service providers, affordable housing developers, and more—all united in our mission to advance quality, affordable housing for all. 

Become a part of our movement to create good, affordable homes for everyone in Illinois. Learn more and join us »


AmeriCorps Updates

Now Recruiting for Housing Action AmeriCorps Positions!

Whether you are interested in joining the AmeriCorps program for a summer or an entire year, we have service options at housing nonprofits throughout Illinois. Join us to serve your community and fight poverty.

Learn how you can start your service journey today »

AmeriCorps logo

How Many People Live in Illinois?

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Illinois has a census population of 12,822,739. This number reflects a loss of 7,833 residents since 2010, and the updated count means that Illinois is losing one congressional seat in the House of Representatives. But we didn’t lose two seats, which was a very real possibility.

Our thanks to all of the partners we worked alongside in ensuring that hard-to-count populations were able to participate in the census, even when the pandemic made outreach efforts even more challenging.

Be counted graphic

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 Metropolitan Planning Council
Collaboration for Equitable Change: ETOD in Chicago, 5/26: Register

Hear from Housing Action's David Young:
MISMO Summit, 6/7–6/10: Register

Hosted by Literacy Works
Plain Language Foundations: Universal Design, 6/9: Register

Lender Lunch & Learn for Housing Counselors: Providence Bank & Trust, 6/16: Register

What You Should Know about Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), 6/22–6/23: Register

Online Study Group for the HUD Exam 3.0, 7/20–7/22: Register


What We're Sharing

All renter rights and protections created by the Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) will go into effect on June 1.

You can find educational materials for renters on our RTLO webpage, including a one-pager in English and Spanish.

Pritzker signs rental assistance bill, says he will ‘phase out’ eviction moratorium by August, Capitol News Illinois, 5/17/21 (news)

Illinois Will Now Grade Credit Unions and Mortgage Companies on Their Commitment to Fair Lending, Next City, 5/11/21 (news)

We Will Chicago's Community Partner Program is seeking community-oriented organizations, businesses, and individuals to participate as Community Partners in We Will, Chicago's new citywide planning initiative. Each Community Partner will be paid $15,000. Application deadline 5/31/21. (partnership opportunity)

State Farm Neighborhood Assist® opens for submissions on 6/2/21 and will award $25,000 grants to support 40 causes making an impact in their communities. (funding)

FHLB Chicago's Affordable Housing Program (AHP) General Fund will allocate $28.6 million to subsidize the acquisition, new construction, or rehabilitation of affordable rental or owner-occupied housing. Application deadline 6/11/21. (funding)

The Needmor Fund supports grassroots groups that work to remove the systematic barriers to democracy in historically disenfranchised communities in the Midwest. Application deadline 6/30/21. (funding)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has issued a Call for Proposals to Community-Based Archives that represent and serve marginalized communities in the United States or its territories. Registration deadline 6/25/21; application deadline 7/2/21. (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.

Housing Action Illinois

Housing Action Illinois is recruiting for summer and 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, Manager of Organizing and Community Development & Transportation Policy Analyst

Center for Elder and Disability Law, Program Coordinator

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Senior Counsel - Education Equity & Program Counsel - Voting Rights

Chicago Urban League, Various Positions

Chinese American Service League, Director of Development and Communications & DEI Officer

Community Service Council of Northern Will County, Housing Counselor

Connections for the Homeless, Various Positions

Facing Forward to End Homelessness, Housing Navigator

IHC, Operations Assistant

IHDA, Assistant Director, Multifamily Business Development & Originations

La Casa Norte, Various Positions

Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, Housing/Community Engagement Attorney (Bilingual)

NHS of Chicago, Housing Policy Associate

Phoenix Community Development Services, Various Positions

Preservation of Affordable Housing, Various Positions

Renaissance Social Services, Inc., Various Positions

South Suburban Housing Center, Director of Fair Housing Enforcement

Thresholds, Various Positions

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, HUD Certified Housing Counselor (Bilingual)


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 |



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