Policy Advocacy

The Need
In communities throughout Illinois, quality affordable housing is out of reach for many, destabilizing communities and families, as well as keeping individuals from realizing their full potential in terms of education and employment.  The lack of affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness.

Solution
Housing Action Illinois works with our members and allies throughout the state to develop and implement a public policy agenda that increases and preserves the supply of affordable housing.  We also educate elected officials and policy makers about the housing issues that impact their constituents.

Benefit and Impact
By working together with our members and allies, we’ve accomplished so much more than we could alone, as you can see from just a few highlights from our history:

  • Successfully campaigning to establish the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which has helped develop and preserve more than 68,000 affordable housing units since 1990.
  • Advocating for the creation of the state Homeless Prevention Program, which has prevented more than 101,830 households from becoming homeless since 2000 through the provisions of small financial grants, primarily to pay past due rent or utility bills.
  • Co-leading the campaign for $130 million in affordable housing to be included in the state capital budget in 2009. Much of this funding is being used to help state efforts to move people with developmental and/or physical disabilities move from institutions to community-based housing.
  • Co-leading the effort to create the Rental Housing Support Program in 2005, which each year provides funding to assist about 2,500 extremely low-income households pay their rent.
  • Advocating for the successful restoration of a 52% cut, equaling $4.7 million, to the Emergency and Transitional Housing Program in the fiscal year 2012 state budget. This program funds more than 100 nonprofit agencies around the state that provide overnight shelter and transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Working with groups around the country to successfully advocate for $45 million in fiscal year 2012 federal funding for HUD-certified housing counseling agencies after funding had been totally eliminated in the prior year’s budget. Much of this funding provides housing counselors with the resources to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.
  • State legislative victories include four pieces of legislation passed between 2009 and 2013 providing various protections during the judicial process for homeowners and renters at-risk of losing their home due to foreclosure, most recently state legislation protecting tenants living in foreclosed properties from being pushed out of their homes because their landlords have fallen into foreclosure.

Latest Policy News

Hitting the Ground Running

The newest addition to our team, Jerome Sader, wasn’t just figuring out where the coffee was and organizing pencils on his first day. “Within my first hour of working at Housing Action, I was sitting in a boardroom of housing leaders in the city, including...

2018 Illinois General Assembly Session Wrap-Up

Legislative Victories and Budget Progress Point the Way Forward The General Assembly completed this year’s session on May 31. Housing Action is glad to say that our legislative successes included three bills we advocated for being sent to Governor Rauner for his...