colorful houses in a row

October 2021 Newsletter: Annual Report | Policy Focus | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Conference Wrap-Up & Sponsor Spotlight | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs

2020 Annual Report

There is no doubt that 2020 was one of the hardest years we have collectively faced in a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning with long-standing racial injustice has changed and challenged us all, as individuals and as organizations.

We’re continuing to respond and recover, but right now, we want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the ways we were—and continue to be—resilient. We came together during a hard year to meet urgent needs, pass critical housing legislation, and continue on our path to better, more stable, more just housing opportunities for everyone.

Thank you to all of our steadfast members, hardworking allies, and generous supporters who helped us through this year. We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without you.

Read the report here »

ResILience 2020 Annual Report

Policy Focus

Tell Illinois' Members of Congress: Build Back Better By Funding Affordable Housing as Infrastructure

In the next couple of days, negotiations on the final funding levels for the Build Back Better Act—the federal infrastructure and economic recovery package—are expected to be finalized. Advocacy from people and organizations around the country has keep funding for affordable housing and to end homelessness in the bill and increased the proposed funding. For those who have not taken action, now is your last chance to contact your members of Congress to support key affordable housing priorities for rental housing and homeownership, especially for people with the lowest incomes and communities of color.

Take action »

Affordable Housing Is Infrastructure

Endorse the Campaign for Statewide Source of Income Fair Housing Protections

Housing Action Illinois is a member of the Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing, which is working to pass House Bill 2755, state legislation that will prohibit discrimination against any housing seeker on the basis of their legal source of income, including rental subsidies and non-wage income such as SSI, SSDI, TANF, or child support. HB 2775 also includes an eviction defense when landlords do not accept emergency rent assistance and other provisions.

Endorse the campaign today »

Emergency Rent Assistance (ERA) Is Still Available

State and local governments in Illinois continue to be leaders in nationwide efforts to distribute ERA to prevent evictions. We recently updated the list of available ERA programs on our website, with links to information on applying. 

IHDA’s web-based portal for ERA will be reopening for an additional round of funding on Monday, November 8.

Find out about Illinois’ ERA programs  »


Housing Counselor Dispatch

Housing Stability Counseling Program subgrants expected in November 

Housing Action has been awarded $1,051,776 in Housing Stability Counseling Program (HSCP) funding. Illinois will receive more than $4 million in total HSCP funding, which is part of the $100 million for housing counseling included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

After signing our agreement with NeighborWorks America, Housing Action hopes to receive our first allocation of funds in November, which we will subgrant to 23 organizations from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. We are excited for this opportunity to provide additional assistance to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and helping to ensure a more equitable COVID-19 recovery.

keys and a small wooden house on a keyring

2021 Housing Matters Conference Wrap-Up

That's a wrap!

From October 6-7, we held our annual Housing Matters Conference virtually in partnership with Resilient Communities: The National Forum. We were thrilled to give our conference attendees the opportunity to attend a variety of sessions with topics ranging from pediatric health to using federal funds to fight homelessness. In addition, conference attendees attended national, collaborative sessions, and workshops from our state partners.

We were extremely thankful to be joined by James Cunningham, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator for Region V, during our Housing Matters 2021 Opening, and by our keynote speakers, Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Grace B. Hou

To those who participated, thank you for your time, knowledge, and attention. We look forward to seeing you in-person next year!

View the 2021 Conference Program here »

Photo of Sharon Legenza and Secretary Grace B. Hou

Executive Director Sharon Legenza and IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou

From left to right, starting with the top row: Nancy Heil, John Herring Sr., Chantelle Wilkinson, David Zwerov, and Sheila Sutton

Housing Matters Conference Sponsor Spotlight: JPMorgan Chase

Housing Action Illinois extends a warm thank you to JPMorgan Chase for its generous Platinum-level sponsorship of our 2021 Housing Matters Conference.

JPMorgan Chase has committed to spending $30 billion to advance racial equity over the next five years. In addition to mortgage options, Chase offers community-specific programs to assist with down payment and closing costs—including a $5,000 homebuyer grant to help more families achieve homeownership in traditionally underserved communities.

Read tips from JPMorgan Chase on how to save enough to buy your first home »

Graphic of hands holding money, a model house, a credit card, and a calculator

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!

Hosted by Chicago Rehab Network 
Proforma Development, 10/29: Register

Hosted by All Chicago
CoC Implementation Structure: Community Conversation on Decision Making, Participation, and Influence, 11/4: Register

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


What We're Sharing

What to know ahead of this weekend's eviction moratorium expiration, Capitol News Illinois, 10/1/21 (news)

People, Parks, and Power: A National Initiative for Green Space, Health Equity, and Racial Justice will support community-based organizations and base-building groups working in urban, low-income communities of color across the United States to increase park equity through local policy and systems change. Community-based organizations are strongly encouraged to apply, especially those led by people of color working to build community power at the citywide, countywide, or districtwide level. Awards of up to $500,000 over two years are available. Apply by 11/4/21. (funding opportunity)

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is being rolled out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach preventing and ending youth homelessness and sharing that experience with and mobilizing communities around the country toward the same end. Apply by 11/16/21. (funding opportunity)

The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University's 2021 State of Rental Housing in Cook County report includes key data on changing rental demand, the supply of rental housing, and how these dynamics affect access to affordable rental housing for Cook County's lowest income households. (report)

The National Housing Resource Center's brief, Prioritizing First-Time Homebuyers and Owner-Occupants over Investors in Today’s Market, discusses the challenges first-time homebuyers face in competing with investors and cash buyers to purchase a home and issues recommendations for addressing them. (report)


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 & Homeless Intensive Case Manager (Christian County) 

Facing Forward, Director of Development & Property Advocate

Hesed House, Various Positions

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

Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, Contracts ManagerSupportive Services Director

Metropolitan Planning Council, Director of Equitable and Sustainable Communities 

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

Sarah's Circle, Case Manager (Interim Housing) & Rapid Rehousing Case Manager

Self-Help FCU, Mortgage Loan Officer

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Community Empowerment Coach & HUD-Certified 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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