November 2020 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Board Updates | AmeriCorps Spotlight | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

Policy Focus

Eviction in Illinois

Governor Pritzker has extended the eviction moratorium in Illinois through December 12. This prevents law enforcement from carrying out evictions and foreclosures and restricts the filing of eviction cases solely for nonpayment. It does not relieve the obligation to pay rent and comply with lease terms. An important update: Under the new Executive Order, tenants must complete this declaration and provide it to their landlord to protect themselves from eviction. For more information, view this Illinois Eviction Moratorium FAQ »

We are still working with partners to advocate for emergency eviction protections that will prohibit landlords from filing evictions if they accept partial rent payments from their tenants, expand opportunities to seal eviction records, and automatically seal eviction cases filed during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery period. Learn more and join us »

Support the Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO)

We need your help to pass protections for 245,000+ renter households in Cook County living in communities without a comprehensive tenant-landlord ordinance. The Cook County RTLO  will create safeguards against illegal lockouts, protections against leases eliminating basic rights to termination notices, procedures for withholding rent until building problems are addressed, and more. During a virtual hearing this week, opponents—certain landlords and landlord interest groups—turned out in force to testify against the proposal. Fortunately, renters and advocates showed up in even larger numbers and raised our voices loudly in support of renter protections. We expect our proposed ordinance will go to a vote in December.

Live in Cook County? Urge your commissioner to support the RTLO »

COVID-19 Relief Bill Negotiations Stall While Appropriations Bills Advance; Join National Call-in Day to Urge Action

The Senate Appropriations Committee just released all 12 of its spending bills for fiscal year 2021. The Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) bill includes modest increases in funding for affordable housing programs, despite strict budget caps required by the Budget Control Act. For more details on the bill’s provisions, read a full analysis and view this budget chart from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

Join NLIHC and advocates across the country for a National Call-In Day tomorrow (11/19) to demand that Congress immediately pass a coronavirus relief bill that includes the essential housing and homelessness resources and protections in the House-passed HEROES Act. Talking points and other resources are available in NLIHC’s updated advocacy toolkit.

Despite Fair Tax Outcome, Our Work for Equity Continues 

Housing Action Illinois is proud that more than two million Illinoisans voted Yes on a Fair Tax this election. Unfortunately, this was not enough to pass the reform, which would have made our tax system fairer and helped address our state’s structural deficit. Housing Action Illinois will continue to fight for a state budget that is sufficient to help people meet their basic human needs, including housing, especially in communities and among constituencies that have experienced systemic discrimination and disinvestment.


Housing Counselor Dispatch

Save the Date: Upcoming Trainings 

We're working on our lineup of trainings and workshops for the coming year. See what we have planned so far and stay tuned for more details!

Spotlight: Virtual Housing Counseling and Accessibility during COVID-19

Wanda Lopez is a Housing Counselor with Access Living, a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities through advocacy, independent living skills, and transition support. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Access Living and the people they serve, Wanda has still been able to assist her clients in their housing journeys, especially in the case of Michael. 

Read Michael and Wanda's full story »

Access Living Building

Access Living Building 


Thank You to Departing Board Members 

Portrait of Kelli Harsch

Kelli Harsch

Portrait of Joyce Hothan

Joyce Hothan

Portrait of Mary Lu Siedel

Mary Lu Seidel

We want to express our gratitude to Kelli Harsch from Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, Joyce Hothan from Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center (retired), and Mary Lu Seidel from Preservation Chicago, three members of Housing Action’s Board of Directors who have or will be stepping down from their Board positions this year. Joyce has served on the board for 12 years, Mary Lu for 9 years, and Kelli for 5 years.

All have helped guide Housing Action through challenging times, from the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath to today’s ongoing pandemic. Their expertise helped to shape Housing Action’s responses across program areas, including significant policy victories, the launch of our HUD Housing Counseling Intermediary, and growth in our AmeriCorps service program. They were always willing to put in the time and effort asked of them and embodied Housing Action’s mission, vision, and values. As Mary Lu stated in her Board application, “Individually, we can only do so much. Collectively, the opportunities are limitless.”

We are thankful for their service on the Board of Directors and know that they will continue to be active in Housing Action’s coalition. 


AmeriCorps Spotlight: Tracking Housing Inequalities

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Krista Weller wanted to continue the work she had started as an intern for Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL). When INCIL was looking for an AmeriCorps member to serve in the VISTA program, Krista knew it was an opportunity to learn while supporting her community through an organization that she loved.  

Read full spotlight »

Krista Weller Headshot

Krista Weller, AmeriCorps member for INCIL, 2019-2020


Learning & Networking

Note: All event postings are from Housing Action, our members, funders, and organizations to which we belong. See our full trainings calendar or general events calendar. Have something coming up that we should list? Let us know!

Facing Forward, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Community Health Network, Insider Conversation: Hunger, Homelessness and Health in Chicago, 11/19: Register

IHDA, New Down Payment Assistance Opportunities, 11/19: Register

Garfield Park Community Council, Hatchery: Building the Why: Story Branding Fundamentals, 12/1: Register

Chicago Rehab Network Community Empowerment Workshop Series: Sources of Development Financing,             12/1-22: Register 

Illinois Housing Council, Post Election Recap, 12/3: Register

All Chicago, Homeless Sector 101, 12/4: Register

Housing Action Illinois, Member Coffee Hour with Sharon Legenza, 12/17: Save the Date  


What We're Sharing

The Home Depot Foundation's Veteran Housing Grants are now open for nonprofits with an operating budget of at least 300,00 for the construction or rehabilitation of permanent housing for veterans. Awards typically range from $100,000 to $500,000. Submit applications for the first cycle by 12/18. (funding)

The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund, created by Woods Fund Chicago, is now requesting proposals for organizations in Cook County that are building and sustaining movements for justice that center Black lives and address anti-blackness and have an operating budget under $750,000. Proposals are being accepted until further notice. (funding)

Fair housing groups: Redfin 'redlines' minority communities, AP News, 10/29. (article)

COVID-19 Resources Related to Housing & Homelessness: Housing Action continues to compile COVID-19 information and resources. (resource)


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, Various Positions

All Chicago, Various Positions 

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Legal Fellowship

Chinese American Service League, Various Positions

Connections for the Homeless, Various Positions

Housing Forward, Various Positions

Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly, Grants Manager & Housing Support Specialist

IFF, Various Positions

Phoenix Community Development Services, Outreach Specialist

Sarah's Circle, Development Director, Interim Housing Program Supervisor

The Resurrection Project, Maintenance Technician & Institutional Advancement Officer


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, Illinois 60603
312-939-6074 |


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