July 2019 Newsletter: Policy Focus | Annual Conference | Housing Counselor Dispatch | Outreach Caravan | Member Spotlight | What We're Sharing | Learning & Networking | Jobs
Housing Action Illinois Joins National Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign
The consequences of America’s affordable housing crisis spill over into many other areas, such as the education, health care, civil rights, anti-hunger, homelessness, and anti-poverty sectors. Leading organizations from these sectors have joined together to form Opportunity Starts at Home, a national campaign to meet the rental housing needs of our nation’s lowest income households through federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing. Housing Action Illinois is excited to announce our designation as a formal state partner of the campaign.
Join housing professionals from around the state at our annual conference on October 24 & 25 in Bloomington and save $50! Each year, we build expertise, experience, and the capacity to make our communities better. This year's theme is FOR ALL—because we believe everyone should have a good, affordable home. Last year, we even hit capacity, with nearly 300 conference participants coming together to learn and network. Sign up by August 16 to reserve your spot and save $50!
The countdown begins: housing counselors have a year to become HUD-certified! By August 1, 2020, all individuals who provide housing counseling in connection with a HUD program must have taken and passed the HUD certification exam. We'll be helping you prepare to pass the test. On August 6, we're bringing together a panel of newly certified counselors for a webinar on tips and tools for taking the exam.
Housing Action's Capacity Building Specialist Wanda Collins will also be hosting another round of her successful study group series from August 19–23 to help you gear up for the exam in a supportive peer-learning environment.
Join Housing Action Illinois and Legal Aid Chicago (formerly known as LAF) for a free in-person workshop on reverse mortgage foreclosure and loss mitigation. During the session, Senior Attorney Ainat Margalit and other experts will cover the basics of reverse mortgage and foreclosure and explain the rights of people in foreclosure.
Every year, we travel throughout Illinois to visit with our member organizations in their communities, host regional gatherings, and take the pulse of housing issues in rural, suburban, and urban Illinois. This year, in addition to visiting agencies, we facilitated trainings in East St. Louis, Springfield, and Rockford.
Housing Action's Bibian Cristino helped housing counselors learn to advise clients seeking rental housing, Timm Krueger coached staff members from small nonprofits on marketing strategies, and Kristin Ginger and Hoda Fakhari worked with residents of permanent supportive housing on how to tell stories that build understanding and create change.
Partners from the Community Builders Network and Housing Action's Marketing & Communications Consultant Timm Krueger in Granite City
Lake County Ends Veteran Homelessness
Congratulations to Lake County on becoming the second community in the state to effectively end veteran homelessness! Among the many key players who made this happen are Housing Action Illinois member organization Lake County Coalition for the Homeless and the AmeriCorps VISTA members serving there.
Sam McDonnell, Lake County's full-year VISTA member, organized the 2018 Point-in-Time Count. "Thanks to Sam’s dedication and work, we implemented two new smartphone apps to assist with survey collections and navigation, accepted donations and distributed kits for the first time, and had a record number of volunteers participate," says Executive Director Brenda O'Connell. "The information our volunteers gathered will help us develop housing solutions for the future.”
Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is available for projects that explore cutting-edge ideas & emerging trends in developing a culture of health. Deadline October 15.
It's recruitment season for Housing Action Illinois' AmeriCorps VISTA network! We have 30 full-year VISTA positions open for candidates who want to serve their community at one of our member organizations.