Funds will be regranted to nonprofits throughout Illinois to support people who are homeless or unstably housed

Kristin Ginger, Manager of Communications & Development, Housing Action Illinois, or 312-854-3333

CHICAGO – Housing Action Illinois has received funding through the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to regrant to partners throughout the state working to meet the immediate COVID-19-related needs of people who are homeless or who may become homeless.

“Homeless service providers throughout Illinois have been critically active during the COVID-19 crisis, introducing social distancing measures in shelters, working to move people off the streets and into hotels or motels, and screening individuals with symptoms,” stated Sharon Legenza, Housing Action Illinois’ Executive Director. “With these relief funds, housing agencies across the state will be able to help more Illinoisans obtain or stay in stable homes—which protects the health and safety of our entire state.”

People experiencing homelessness—many of whom are seniors and/or people with disabilities and underlying medical conditions—are at extreme risk for COVID-19, living in crowded conditions or other unsheltered congregate settings where they are unable to isolate, quarantine or recover. During this crisis, homeless service providers have had to balance providing much-needed shelter and services to even more people in need while also ensuring that public health guidelines are being met, which requires more resources to do. Extremely low-income renters, particularly people of color, are also at severe risk and face eviction and homelessness as their incomes decline due to job loss or reduced hours. Emergency rental assistance is urgently needed to help keep these individuals and families in their homes.

“Now, more than ever, it is clear that housing is healthcare,” explained Bob Palmer, Housing Action Illinois’ Policy Director. “A home is the best protection against COVID-19. When everyone has a good, stable home and can shelter in place, it protects us all.”

The majority of the funds that Housing Action Illinois will regrant comes from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. ICRF, which announced today that it has raised more than $30 million from over 2,400 donors since launching on March 26, provides flexible funding to nonprofit organizations across the state to supply essential resources to the individuals and households most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing Action Illinois’ award is part of a second round of grants.

“I am so proud to see Illinoisans stepping up and helping each other through these challenging times,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thousands of Illinoisans have now contributed to this fund and I’m thrilled to see these resources going to organizations doing critical work in our communities.”

$50,000 of the funds to be disbursed comes from NLIHC, which received $3.5 million in one-time funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation. NLIHC swiftly regranted these funds to 52 organizations in 27 states to help fill the perilous gap in time before federal funding from the CARES Act begins to flow.

“It’s been heartening and tremendously impressive to see all the ways our partners and members are stepping into this challenging time with extraordinary determination, courage, and resourcefulness,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “While there’s so much more work to do, each of the organizations we’ve regranted to—and so many more organizations throughout the country—are doing essential work that is saving the lives of some of our country’s most vulnerable and marginalized people.”

As Illinois responds, recovers, and rebuilds, no one can be left out. For everyone’s health and safety, it is critical to ensure that every resident can stay home and get better when needed. 


About Housing Action Illinois

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition that has been leading the movement to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. Our 160+ member organizations include homeless service providers, housing counseling agencies, developers of affordable housing and policymakers. We bring everyone together to work toward our vision of an Illinois where everyone has a stable, good home.