Home is the cornerstone from which people build better lives for themselves and their families. People with arrest or criminal records, like everyone else, deserve a place to call home—but it can be almost impossible for them to find an apartment or house to rent.
We're getting together on March 26 to eat, drink, and stand up for housing justice, and you're invited! Let's get out of the office, relax with friends and family, and place bids on some special gifts from our large selection of silent auction and raffle items. A few highlights include:
April 2019 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Annual Conference | Fair Housing Month | Annual Benefit | Housing Counselor Dispatch | VISTA Spotlight | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs
Help Expand Access to Housing for People with Records in Cook County
Home is the cornerstone from which people build better lives for themselves and their families. People with arrest or criminal records, like everyone else, deserve a place to call home—but it can be almost impossible for them to find an apartment or house to rent. The Just Housing Amendment will create equal access to housing opportunities in Cook County for people with criminal records, and there will be a hearing on the proposal on April 24. We hope you’ll join us to show your support.
Illinois Hardest Hit and Reverse Mortgage Assistance Program Ending
The last day to apply for Illinois' Hardest Hit and Reverse Mortgage Assistance Programs is Tuesday, April 30. Eligible homeowners may receive up to $35,000 in assistance. Help clients check their eligibility and apply before these life-changing programs close for good.
Only 37 Affordable Rental Units Available for Every 100 Extremely Low- Income Households in Illinois
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a national report recently co-released in Illinois by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Housing Action Illinois, takes a look at the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to financially-vulnerable families and individuals. We have the opportunity to reduce this shortage by investing $1 billion in affordable housing in the state’s capital budget.
2019 Conference: Save the Date & Submit Workshop Proposals
We’re excited to announce that our 2019 Housing Matters! Conference will be held on October 24-25 in Bloomington, IL, and we want to hear from you about what you’d like to hear from us. What pressing issues and creative innovations should we talk about at this year's conference? Let us know by submitting proposals for suggested speakers, topics, and workshops by April 30.
National Fair Housing Month will be over when the clock strikes on May 1 — do you need help spreading the word? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our Fair Housing Month Toolkit makes it easy for you to increase awareness about #FairHousing laws and how to report discrimination. When one of us faces housing discrimination, we all face it. Help us empower Illinoisans by downloading our toolkit today.
Thanks to the nearly 150 housing champions who came out to relax, eat pizza, win awesome raffle prizes, and raise a glass at our annual Toast to Housing Justice! We are very proud to say that in just three years, we went from being without an annual benefit to raising nearly $6,000 this time around. Your support helps us continue to work toward an Illinois where everyone has a good place to call home
CMS Guide 2.0 Released to Help Housing Counseling Agencies
We published an updated version of our Guide to HUD-approved Client Management Systems (CMSs) to aid agencies as they replace Home Counselor Online (HCO), the most commonly used CMS. The digital resource, which is available for free online, helps users assess their options through an at-a-glance comparison chart and detailed individual system profiles.
Today Americans are not only renting longer, but in some cases they prefer renting to buying a home. Join us for a 3-day training in Chicago on the essentials of rental housing counseling to develop the skills you need to create your own rental counseling program or deepen your knowledge to streamline your current program. Our curriculum includes an extensive collection of resources and more than a dozen templates for housing counselors to use as they aid their clients.
VISTA Spotlight: Property Mapping in Garfield Park
Allen Bosbyshell, one of our full-year AmeriCorps VISTA, was recently featured in Chicago Cityscape's blog to discuss how he's using their city mapping and data management tool to increase affordable housing and prevent foreclosures and demolitions. Allen is working at the Garfield Park Community Council, where part of job involves finding properties and buyers that qualify for the Micro Market Recovery Program's downpayment assistance.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released the 2019 national Housing Trust Fund allocations of $245 mill to HUD. IL will receive $9.8 million of the funds, which are normally released within 60 days of the end of the calendar year.
The National Leased Housing Association (NLHA) Education Fund is seeking applications for its scholarship program, which was formed to provide educational assistance to residents of federally assisted rental housing. All applicants must apply electronically here by April 20.
Housing Action Illinois member Access Living is collecting personal experiences from people with disabilities who have had contact with the Cook County criminal justice system. Email Elesha Nightingale by April 30 for more information.