For Immediate Release: July 22, 2019
For more information contact: Kristin Ginger, Communications Manager, Housing Action Illinois, or 312-854-3333

Opportunity Starts at Home Logo (horizontal)Housing Action Illinois is excited to become a formal state partner of Opportunity Starts at Home, a national, multi-sector campaign to meet the rental housing needs of our nation’s lowest income households.

“Where you live affects everything in your life, from your job and education to your health and ability to raise a family,” said Sharon Legenza, Executive Director of Housing Action Illinois. “Housing Action Illinois is excited to join this campaign because working across sectors is essential to creating communities where everyone can thrive.”

Opportunity Starts at Home was launched in March 2018 by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Children’s HealthWatch, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, along with a steering committee of partners including Catholic Charities USA, the Children’s Defense Fund, Community Catalyst, the Food Research and Action Center, JustLeadershipUSA, NAACP, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Education Association, the National League of Cities and UnidosUS.

Couple with child on bicycleThe consequences of America’s affordable housing crisis are spilling over into many other areas, such as the education, health care, civil rights, anti-hunger, homelessness, and anti-poverty sectors. By combining voices and expertise, leading organizations from these sectors seek to build a broad national movement that promotes federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing. The long-term goal of the campaign is to ensure that our most vulnerable low-income households can afford the rent.  To achieve this goal, the campaign advocates three key strategies:

  • Bridge the growing gap between renter incomes and rising housing costs;
  • Provide aid to people experiencing job losses or other economic shocks to avert housing instability or homelessness; and
  • Expand the affordable housing stock for the lowest-income renters.

The campaign will also act to defend against funding cuts and harmful policy changes in existing low-income housing programs.

Along with Prosperity Indiana, Housing Action Illinois will be joining the campaign’s longstanding state partners in California, Idaho, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah. As new partners, the organizations will participate in peer-to-peer learning experiences with the other states and will gain access to resources, networks, and technical assistance from the national campaign.

“We are thrilled to welcome both Housing Action Illinois and Prosperity Indiana as state partners of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign,” said Mike Koprowski, National Campaign Director. “Together, we will build a broad-based movement to end housing poverty and homelessness.”

Housing Action Illinois was selected along with Prosperity Indiana for a formal endorsement through the campaign’s application process, which remains open to state-level organizations that are engaged in building multi-sector partnerships to advance stronger affordable housing policies.  To learn more about the campaign, visit the Opportunity Starts at Home website.