colorful houses in a row

November 2021 Newsletter: End of Year Giving | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Welcoming Jeremy | Member Spotlight | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

Support Affordable Housing

We're always thankful for everyone in Illinois who is part of the movement to expand and protect affordable housing. Together, we can create an Illinois where everyone has a good, affordable place to call home. We hope you’ll consider supporting our work today by making a contribution or becoming a monthly donor.

Enter our drawing for Chicago Bulls tickets! We're holding a drawing for two tickets + one parking pass to the Chicago Bulls vs. Sacramento Kings game on February 16, 2022 at the United Center. 

For a chance to win, make a donation of $50 or more »

Our housing justice t-shirts are back! We've released a new collection of shirts and added more styles, including hoodies, sweatshirts, and long-sleeve tees. Makes a great gift for yourself or someone else! Snag your favorite today.

Shop now »


Policy Focus

Tell Illinois' Members of Congress: Build Back Better with $150 Billion for Affordable Housing

Congress will soon vote on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act—the federal infrastructure and economic recovery package. Advocacy from people and organizations around the country has kept funding for affordable housing and to end homelessness in the bill, and it’s critical to let your representatives in the House and Senate know that you support the $150 billion in funding for affordable housing, as well as tax credits to create affordable homes. 

Take action »

Affordable Housing Is Infrastructure

Illinois Housing Department Authority (IHDA) Emergency Rental Assistance

State and local governments in Illinois continue to be leaders in nationwide efforts to distribute emergency rental assistance to prevent evictions and help maintain stable, affordable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Illinois Rental Payment Program, administered by IHDA, will begin accepting applications on Monday, December 6, 2021. Join Housing Action and IHDA today at 3:30 pm CT for an in-depth tutorial of the online application process for both housing providers and tenants.

Learn more and register for today's webinar » 


Report: Tax Sale Evictions Disproportionately Occur in Majority-Black Communities

A new report by Housing Action Illinois finds that 73% of people identify as Black in the zip codes with the most tax sale evictions. By contrast, in zip codes with no tax sale evictions, 82% of people identify as white.

“A home is a valuable financial asset that can be passed on for generations,” says Sheila Sutton, Housing Action’s Housing Policy Organizer. “Tax sale evictions contribute to the racial wealth gap by transferring wealth out of families and communities. Often, a person only owes a relatively small amount of actual property taxes, but the high interest rates, fees, and other charges add up to significantly increase that amount.”

Read the report and policy recommendations »

tax sale eviction report

This map of Cook County illustrates the number of tax sale evictions and percentage of the population identifying as Black in each zip code. 


Housing Counselor Dispatch

23 Organizations to Receive Housing Stability Counseling Program Subgrants

NeighborWorks America has awarded Housing Action Illinois $1,051,776 in Housing Stability Counseling Program (HSCP) funding, which Housing Action will distribute to 23 subgrantee organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. 

“The HSCP funding we received is pivotal for us to continue this work—helping disabled people navigate with the tools and resources they need to make good housing choices that work well for them, especially after the impact of COVID-19,” said Wanda Lopez, a housing counselor at subgrantee Access Living, which serves and advocates for people with disabilities.

Read more »

Picture of piggy bank, calculator, home keys

Welcoming Jeremy Cowart

Housing Action Illinois is excited to welcome Jeremy Cowart as our new AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. Jeremy comes to Housing Action Illinois with extensive experience serving unhoused youth throughout Chicago as a case manager and outreach specialist, as well as having a foundational education in Public Health at UIC. He is looking forward to strengthening partnerships with our member organizations at Housing Action Illinois, as well as supporting AmeriCorps members throughout his year of service. 

Photo of Jeremy Cowart, VISTA Leader

Member Spotlight: Warehouse Workers for Justice

Warehouse Workers for Justice teaches workers their legal rights within the workplace and instructs them on how to organize and advocate for improvements regarding workplace conditions. While WWJ’s mission has stayed the same throughout the years, the issues it focuses on change to align with workers’ current needs. WWJ has always recognized the importance of housing access—higher wages mean more access to stable, safe housing—but the last year and a half has brought a renewed focus on housing.


Tenants organized with the help of WWJ

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!

Illinois Rental Payment Program - Round 2: How to Apply Webinar, 11/17: Register

Hosted by AmeriCorps
Fighting Hunger and Homelessness Through Service, 11/18: Register

Hosted by All Chicago & Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing
Sealing Eviction Records, 11/30: Register

Hosted by Forefront
Introduction to Project Budgets, 11/30: Register

Hosted by All Chicago
Introduction to the Homeless Sector and Homeless Response System, 12/7: Register

Hosted by Illinois Housing Council
Build Back Better and Affordable Housing, 12/9: Register


What We're Sharing

Emergency rental relief ticked up slightly in September, but issues getting money out the door persist, Washington Post, 10/25/21 (news)

Kankakee selected for AmeriCorps program, Daily Journal, 11/3/21 (news)

Housing Action Illinois' report, Racial Disparities and Cook County Tax Sale Evictions, finds that tax sale evictions in Cook County disproportionately occur in majority-Black communities. In the 11 zip codes with the highest number of tax sale evictions, 73% of people identified as Black.  (report)

The Urban Institute's report, Veterans Experiencing Homelessness and Housing Instability Benefit from Medical-Legal Partnerships, discusses how veterans experiencing housing instability and homelessness are reporting an urgent need for civil legal assistance, and the solutions being explored by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (report)

Home Depot Foundation: Veteran Housing Grants Program awards funding ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 for the new construction or rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for veterans. The grant amount must comprise less than 50% of the total development cost of the project. Apply by 12/17/21. (funding opportunity)

The Emergent Fund supports grassroots organizing in communities of color that are facing injustice based on racial, ethnic, religious, and other forms of discrimination. Funding supports emergent strategies that help communities respond to rapidly changing conditions and efforts seeking long-term social justice and economic justice. Submissions reviewed on a rolling basis. (funding opportunity)


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

Access Living, Community Development Organizer – Immigration & Latinx 

All Chicago, Grants ManagerProgram Coordinator

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

Facing Forward, Director of Development & Property Advocate

Great Lakes Credit Union, Housing Counselor

H.O.M.E. DuPage, Inc., Housing Counselor

Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, Contracts ManagerHousing Attorney

Metropolitan Planning Council, Director of Equitable and Sustainable Communities

Navicore Solutions, Housing Counselor

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Staff Attorney, Housing Law Practice

Open Communities, Chief Executive Officer

Phoenix Community Development Services, Director of Housing & Community Development & Homeless Outreach/Housing Specialist

Renaissance Social Services, Inc., Housing Liaison & Outreach Worker

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Housing Counselor


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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