Housing Action Corps

Strengthening communities through service.

Each year, we connect AmeriCorps members with community organizations to address local challenges with local solutions. Housing Action Corps helps organizations in our coalition launch new projects and expand their programs while providing professional development for the next generation of housing justice leaders.

National Service with Housing Action Illinois

Since 2010, Housing Action Corps (formerly known as Housing Action AmeriCorps Network) has paired hundreds of AmeriCorps members with organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides opportunities for people to lead anti-poverty projects and build the capacity of community-based organizations. AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program take on a variety of roles at their host organizations; they expand the scale of programs and services, launch new projects, and increase available resources, such as volunteers, donations, and grants.

We typically manage a network of 30 full-year AmeriCorps members and 30 AmeriCorps Summer Associates each year. AmeriCorps members serve at their host organizations for a 12-month term or for 8-10 weeks as a Summer Associate. Note: the AmeriCorps Summer Associate program will not be offered in 2024 due to federal budget restrictions. 

Learn more about serving in Housing Action Corps or becoming a host site on the pages below. 

Serve with Housing Action Corps

Host a Housing Action Corps Member

Housing Action Corps Initiatives

About Housing Counseling Corps

Housing counseling programs are crucial in combating the affordable housing crisis, but due to a nationwide shortage of HUD-certified housing counselors, agencies are struggling to meet community needs. In 2021, we piloted a new initiative of Housing Action Corps—Housing Counseling Corps—to build the capacity of housing counseling programs and establish a pipeline of HUD-certified housing counselors to help more people secure safe and affordable homes. After launching the initiative in Illinois, we expanded Housing Counseling Corps to match AmeriCorps members with organizations nationwide in 2023. 

AmeriCorps members in Housing Counseling Corps spend a full service year learning about the housing counseling profession, becoming familiar with the specific programs and client needs of a housing counseling agency, and preparing for and taking the HUD Housing Counseling Certification Exam. After their service, members are well-positioned to begin a job as a HUD-certified housing counselor at their host site or another housing counseling agency. 

Housing Action facilitates housing counseling trainings nationwide and provides critical support and resources to housing counseling agencies throughout the Midwest as a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Intermediary. Housing Counseling Corps leverages the expertise and resources of our Capacity Building team and our Housing Action Corps to fortify the housing counseling workforce in Illinois and throughout the United States. Learn more about becoming a Housing Counselor »

Interested in joining Housing Counseling Corps or hosting a Housing Counseling Corps member at your agency? Learn more about serving in Housing Action Corps or becoming a host site

About Green Homes Corps

Green Homes Corps is an initiative of Housing Action Corps that aims to cultivate energy-efficient practices for low-to-moderate income households, particularly in rural Illinois communities, while providing professional development for AmeriCorps members in environmental justice. 

In 2024, Green Homes Corps is piloting 5 members with organizations serving Equity Investment Eligible Communities in central and southern Illinois. By advancing equitable, cost-saving solutions to deploy clean energy, Green Homes Corps projects help develop thriving, healthy communities.

Interested in joining Green Homes Corps or hosting a Green Homes Corps member at your organization? Learn more about serving in Housing Action Corps or becoming a host site

Meet the National Service Team

National Service Director
Willie Heineke
willie@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 107

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Daniela Sanchez

dani@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 111

Program Associate
Marissa Diekhoff
marissa@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 205

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Leah Martin

leah@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 110

Program Associate
Petra D. Rodríguez Everson
petra@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 103

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Patricia McClendon
patricia@housingactionil.org
312-939-6074 x. 111

Apply Now

Applications for 2024-2025 Housing Action Corps positions are now open. Priority applications are due before July 12, 2024. Open positions are posted below and on the AmeriCorps portal.

There are two ways to apply to our positions: through Housing Action’s Quick Application or through the AmeriCorps portal. For assistance using the AmeriCorps portal, read detailed instructions on how to apply.

Learn more about serving in Housing Action Corps »

2024–2025 Positions

We are now accepting applications for 2024-2025 Housing Action Corps members. Priority applications are due July 12. Members serve from August 2024-August 2025.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. Most Housing Action Corps positions are located in Illinois, but AmeriCorps members serving in our Housing Counseling Corps can be matched with housing counseling agencies nationwide. 

More About Our Network

Ahead of the Curve

In 2021, we published the findings from our survey of 169 AmeriCorps VISTA alumni who served in our network over the course of a decade (2010–2020). The findings show that a year of service can pave the way for a nonprofit career, help make a difference in your community, and be a meaningful way to learn about housing and homelessness.

See the key findings »

%

secured their next step within 6 months of finishing service (national average is 67%)

%

believe or strongly believe their experience as a VISTA was worthwhile

%

were offered staff positions by their host sites (national average is 20%)

Recent Accomplishments

In fall 2023, we placed 40 full-year AmeriCorps VISTA members with host organizations around Illinois and in 6 states nationwide to strengthen communities and build the capacity of our coalition. In the previous cohort, serving from 2022-2023, AmeriCorps members & summer associates collectively: 

  • Raised $210,018 in grants, cash, and in-kind donations 
  • Recruited or managed 453 volunteers
  • Helped develop, repair, and make available 5,300 housing units
  • Connected 13,000 households with housing services

These numbers only tell part of the story—there are many other ways in which our AmeriCorps members build capacity for their host organizations. See below for spotlights on individual members.

From Service to Certified: Housing Counseling Corps

From Service to Certified: Housing Counseling Corps

Since 2010, Housing Action Corps has placed hundreds of AmeriCorps VISTA members with organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps VISTA members in our network dedicate a year of full-time service to projects that build organizational capacity, advance housing...

Communications & Development VISTA

Communications & Development VISTA

We’re looking for someone passionate about housing justice to build understanding of our issues, create materials for our expanding programs, grow our events, and diversify our revenue. About Housing Action Illinois Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition...

Applications Open for 2024 Housing Action Corps Positions

Applications Open for 2024 Housing Action Corps Positions

Each year, Housing Action Corps matches AmeriCorps members with community-based organizations across Illinois. AmeriCorps is a national service program that connects people and organizations to help end poverty and strengthen communities. AmeriCorps members take on a...

A Moment in Our Movement

A Moment in Our Movement

In February, four generations of Housing Action AmeriCorps Network alumni attended the Illinois Affordable Housing Forum, a statewide affordable housing conference hosted by Illinois Housing Council. The Forum brings together housing industry leaders from across...

Service is a Journey, Not a Destination

Service is a Journey, Not a Destination

Ten years ago, I started my journey of service. I first joined AmeriCorps VISTA in 2014 as a Summer Associate in Prescott, AZ. I went on to serve two consecutive, year-long AmeriCorps VISTA terms, the first of which focused on creating a culinary and gardening program...

Finding the Right Formula for Service

Finding the Right Formula for Service

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.”― Pierce Brown, Golden Son Before serving as an AmeriCorps member with Housing Action Illinois, I served as an AmeriCorps member for a year as a Literacy Tutor in the Las Vegas School...