Housing Matters


Housing Matters 2022 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington, IL

We’re looking forward to two days filled with dynamic speakers and engaging conversations.

* Schedule subject to change.

Day 1 – Thursday, October 20


8:30am – 10:00am


Registration & Continental Breakfast


10:00am – 11:00am

Brickyards I, II & III

Opening Plenary Session

With Emily Hooper Lansana


11:30am – 12:45pm

Breakout Workshops

Implementing the State Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness - Brickyard IV

Speaker: Christine Haley, IDHS

The State of Illinois’ first plan to prevent and end homelessness was submitted to Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly in June. Working with the State Homelessness Chief, an Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and a Community Advisory Council have primarily responsibility for developing and overseeing the plan. Using a racial equity framework, the plan’s foundation is built on four pillars: Building Affordable Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing; Bolstering the Safety Net; Securing Financial Stability; and Closing the Mortality Gap. At this session, participants will get an update on the plan’s key initiatives, as well as find out how they can get involved in supporting this effort to reach functional zero homelessness in Illinois.

Breaking Down Appraisal Bias - Brickyard V

Moderator: David Young, Housing Action Illinois
Speakers: Blake Mitchell, HOPE Fair Housing Center; Falon Young, NHS of Chicago; Rachel Johnston, Chicago Rehab Network; Monique King-Viehland, JPMorgan Chase

An appraisal is the primary tool lenders use to determine the value of homes for purchase and refinance transactions. Appraisals matter because they affect how much people pay when buying a home or how much equity is available in a refinance transaction. Racial and ethnic bias in the way that appraisals are conducted have contributed to reduced values in majority minority neighborhoods, resulting in a loss of wealth building potential for Black and Latinx households. Both the federal government and major lenders have acknowledged problems with the current appraisal system. How did bias get built into the appraisal system? What can be done to create a more equitable system? Join us to hear about efforts to test for and prove appraisal bias, state level advocacy to regulate appraisals, and steps that banks can take to mitigate bias.

Promising Initiatives to Prevent Eviction - Brickyard VI

Moderator: Tyrina Newkirk, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation
Speakers: Michelle Gilbert, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing; Sam Tuttle, Eviction Help Illinois/Illinois Equal Justice Foundation

Court-based emergency rent assistance and services, including expanded mediation and legal representation, have been critical in preventing evictions and keeping people housed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois. Join this session to hear from legal experts implementing these programs, including key staff working on Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) and evictionhelpillinois.org. We’ll share ongoing experiences and lessons learned, as well as discuss what the future holds for these types of services once federal emergency rent assistance funds are fully exhausted and how we can advocate together for the resources and policy changes needed to build on these promising initiatives.


12:45pm – 2:30pm

Brickyards I, II & III

Membership Meeting Luncheon & Keynote

With Diane M. Shelley, HUD Midwest Regional Office


3:00pm – 4:15pm

Breakout Workshops

Housing Counseling Agencies & Homeless Service Providers in Conversation - Brickyard IV

Speakers: Sandy Deters, Embaras River Basin Agency; Katie Spoden, Alliance to End Homessness of Suburban Cook County; Darsonya Switzer, Dove, Inc.; Carl Wolf, Respond Now

Description TBA

Untapped Opportunities: PHA Homeownership Programs - Brickyard V

Speakers: Patricia Fron, Chicago Aread Fair Housing Alliance; Adrienne Grover, Springfield Housing Authority; Amber Hendley, Woodstock Institute

Do you work with clients or residents who have Housing Choice Vouchers and want to make the transition from renting to owning a home? Join us to learn about the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program, a valuable resource that could help them on their path to homeownership. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered through Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), this program assists low-income individuals in purchasing homes by allowing qualified buyers to use their voucher subsidies to help pay a monthly mortgage. Our panel of experts will discuss the details of the program, share findings from a recent report on how this program has been working for PHAs in Illinois, and share personal program participant experiences.

Addressing Housing Challenges Experienced by Refugees - Brickyard VI

Speakers: Galya Ben-Arieh, Northwestern University/Community Partnerships for Settlement Strategies; Lori Consadori Lucchetti, Building Peaceul Bridges; David Zverow, Refugee Action Network

Due to the wars and crises in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere, along with a more welcoming environment by the Biden administration, an increasing number of refugees are coming to our country. As refugees work to establish new lives in our communities, one of the major challenges they face is securing decent, affordable housing. Join us to hear from staff that work in resettlement and advocacy and learn about successes and challenges experienced by people fleeing their homes, as well as what resources are needed to create a more welcoming environment in our country. We’ll also discuss how the housing struggles faced by refugees are emblematic of the overall shortage of affordable housing in our society and what solutions we can all work on together.


4:15pm – 5:00pm



5:00pm – 6:00pm




6:00pm – 8:30pm

Brickyards I, II & III

35th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Day 2 – Friday, October 21


8:00am – 9:00am


Registration & Continental Breakfast
Staff Meet & Greet

Drop by to meet Housing Action staff and Board members.

Staff and Board members will be available to say hello and talk.


9:00am – 10:15am

Breakout Workshops

Expanding Medical Respite Care for People Experiencing Homelessness - Brickyard IV

Speakers: Dr. Chuck Bareis, Loyola Medicine MacNeal Hospital; Christine Haley, Illinois Department of Human Services; Dr. Keiki Hinami, Cook County Health; Lynda Schueler, Housing Forward

Medical respite care is acute and post-acute care for persons experiencing homelessness who are not ill enough to need to be in a hospital, but whose recovery from a physical illness or injury will be hindered without the support and stability that are impossible if someone is on the street or only has access to basic shelter. Join us to learn about the medical respite models from shelter and medical providers from Housing Forward, Cook County Health and Loyola Medicine MacNeal Hospital. Through the Medical Respite Capacity Building Initiative, the Illinois Office to Prevent & End Homelessness will support technical assistance and capacity building grants for communities to increase their ability to provide medical respite services to persons experiencing homelessness leaving in-patient hospital stays.

LIHTC 101: The Basics of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits - Brickyard V

Speakers: Jolyn Heun & Billy Lyman, Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a federal tax incentive that subsidizes the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income tenants. Many kinds of rental buildings are eligible for LIHTC, including apartment buildings, single-family dwellings, townhouses, and duplexes. Join us for a beginner’s introduction to the tax credit, which is the largest source of new affordable housing in the United States. How are LIHTCs awarded? How is an eligible project structured? How are LIHTCs calculated? What type of compliance is needed? We’ll cover all these questions and more, then discuss resources and guidance available to support smaller organizations and newcomers interested in developing qualifying LIHTC projects.

Building Trust in Housing Counseling: Lessons from Metro St. Louis - Brickyard VI

Speakers: Paula E.W. Carey-Moore, Kesha Chatman, & Ivy Grant, Urban League of Metropolitian St. Louis

In recent years, the Housing Division and the St. Clair County, IL Outreach Center of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis have started exploring creative ways to build trust with community residents before introducing their housing counseling services. By first asking residents about their needs and building relationships, they have been more successful in their housing counseling and credit building initiatives. This session will provide a case study of their approach, including how the outreach has worked in Illinois communities. Join us to get ideas you can bring back and implement for your own housing counseling program’s community outreach.


10:45am – 12:00pm

Breakout Workshops

Illinois' New Source of Income Protections - Brickyard IV

Speakers: Michael Chavarria, HOPE Fair Housing; Lilly Watson, Housing Authority of Champagin County; Nabi Yisrael, Access Living; AJ Young, Praire State Legal Services

After multiple campaigns over the course of almost 20 years, state legislation creating source of income fair housing protections finally passed during the 2022 Illinois legislative session. House Bill 2775 adds these protections, which make housing more accessible to families with nonwage income, to the Illinois Human Right Act. Over half of Illinois households have some sort of nonwage income, such as social security, retirement income and/or public assistance, that will receive protections against discrimination under this law. In addition, about 99,000 households who use Housing Choice Vouchers to pay their rent have historically experienced source of income discrimination. Join us for a panel discussion about the advocacy needed to pass the bill, what the new state law means for people seeking housing, and how you can get involved in public education efforts.

Building Community as a Housing Development Strategy - Brickyard V

Moderator: Gail Schechter, H.O.M.E.
Speakers: Jacqueline Boyd, One Roof Chicago; Brenda Krause Eheart, founder of Hope Meadows; Nikki Moustafa, H.O.M.E.

Description TBA

Home Market Trends - Brickyard VI

Speakers: TBA

Description TBA


12:00pm – 1:15pm

Brickyards I, II & III

Lunch & Closing Plenary

Additional details TBA

Register Now!

Sign up by August 12 for the early bird rate.

Christine Haley is the Chief of the Illinois Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, working with 16 state agencies to implement a strategic state plan to prevent and end homelessness. She chairs the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and co-chairs the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. Previously, Christine was the Director of Housing for Cook County Health, which included serving as the clinical administrator of a medical respite center. She has worked as an administrator with CSH, Housing Opportunities for Women, and Heartland Alliance; served in health equity positions within the Massachusetts and Cleveland Departments of Public Health; and was founding Executive Director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center. Christine holds a BA from Notre Dame and an MS in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve.