September 2020 Newsletter: Annual Conference | Policy Focus | Vote | Annual Report | Census | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Staff Updates | VISTA Spotlight | Learning & Networking | What We're Sharing | Jobs
Join Us for Housing Matters! 2020
We've joined forces with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations and peers in other states to bring you our annual conference as part of a national virtual forum. We're very excited about this year's lineup, which includes Illinois keynote speaker Representative Delia Ramirez, national keynote Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, and an opening plenary with Deanna Van Buren. Join Illinois sessions from October 13–15, in addition to five plenary sessions with top national speakers.
State Representative Delia Ramirez Illinois Kickoff Keynote
While these protections are essential for struggling renters, they merely postpone evictions. When they expire, back rent will be due, and renters will be unable to pay. Meanwhile, small landlords who rely on rental income are struggling to pay their bills. Congress must provide at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to support tenants and landlords and stabilize our communities.
Don't Wait to Vote!
Voting by mail is easy, safe, and convenient. However, a lot more people will be voting by mail this year, which could lead to longer delivery times. It is critical to make sure you're registered and to decide now if you're requesting a mail-in ballot.
While filling out your ballot, you will have the chance to vote YES on the Fair Tax referendum. A Fair Tax will reform Illinois’ broken tax system while ensuring that 97% of Illinoisans—those who make $250,000 a year or less—receive a tax cut or pay no more than they do now. It will responsibly fund state budget priorities, such as education, health care and human services. Help us bring tax fairness to Illinois! Tell your family and friends why it's so important and vote YES.
Beginning with Home
Where we live affects everything in our lives: our health, our access to education, our job opportunities, our ability to save money, how we raise our children, and what kind of future we build for ourselves and our families. At Housing Action Illinois, we want a future in which every Illinoisan, no matter their income, has a good, stable place to call home. Our 2019 Annual Report shares how we worked towards this goal over the last year. Explore the report »
Census: Just One Week Left
This is it: we only have until September 30 to respond to the 2020 Census.
While Illinois' overall participation rate is good—about 70%—many areas are at 50% or lower. These include some of our most marginalized and hard-to-count communities, so we need to do everything we can to get them counted. The form takes less than 10 minutes. Let's ensure that Illinois receives all of the federal funding that it needs.
Fill out the census online or call 1-844-330-2020 and help make sure your community gets funding it needs for the next decade.
Housing Counselor Dispatch
One-on-One HUD Individual Certification Exam Prep
Still need to take the HUD Individual Certification Exam? You're not alone. More than 2,000 housing counselors across the nation need to get certified by August 1, 2021. Our Capacity Building Specialists are here to help you gear up for the test. Stay tuned for Online Study Group dates to be announced.
Dylan Juza joined us this month as a Housing Action VISTA Leader. She is interested in economic social justice and empowering local communities through evidence based practices. Most recently, she served as a VISTA with the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, in Austin, TX, where she built the coalition's capacity to implement an employment navigation program to support displaced job seekers. As a VISTA Leader, Dylan hopes to help VISTA members succeed in building capacity for their host sites, as well as focus some of her time on special projects to improve the VISTA Network.
Governor's Service Award Winner
Congratulations to Kiamara Rodriguez and the Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) for receiving a 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award!Kiamara is a recent AmeriCorps VISTA alumn and Civil Litigation Professional who served as Housing Preservation Coordinator at the CDEL. Kiamara remains dedicated to CDEL’s mission and success, and has continued to serve the organization in a variety of capacities since the conclusion of her national service. Through continued service, Kiamara seeks to further pro bono legal culture and ensure equal access to justice.
Chicago Rents is a new initiative led by All Chicago to recruit and support landlord partners to fill their units with a purpose. They serve as the connector of landlords, people in need of homes, rental subsidies and housing support case managers.(resource)
Redlining and Neighborhood Health is a new report co-authored by Housing Matters! 2020 Conference speaker Jason Richardson that explores the impact that redlining has on communities. (report)
The Illinois Housing Development Authority is seeking input to help inform the development of a new strategic plan and prioritizes for the next few years. Share your feedback by taking their Statewide Resident Survey.(survey)
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.