HOME Illinois is a Historic Investment to End Homelessness

State budget proposal provides $350 million in state and federal funding, including $85 million in new state funding to prevent and end homelessness

Governor JB Pritzker released his fiscal year 2024 budget proposal on February 15, 2023. We applaud Governor Pritzker for making preventing and ending homelessness a key priority in the budget and highlighting its importance in his speech to the General Assembly.

Governor Pritzker’s HOME Illinois budget proposal includes a transformational investment of $350 million in state and federal funding to prevent and end homelessness. While some of the resources will come from existing funds, a new $200 million HOME Illinois line item in the budget will rely on state General Revenue Funds, and the plan provides historically high levels of new investments using state funds to serve individuals and families in Illinois without a home. The HOME Illinos line item includes $85 million in new General Revenue Fund (GRF) spending to prevent and end homelessness.

The HOME Illinois plan supports the recently completed comprehensive plan to prevent and end homelessness, coordinated by the Illinois Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, which is overseen by an interagency task force and a community advisory council.

Recently, Housing Action Illinois has been collaborating with a core group of service providers and advocates to organize the Illinois Shelter Alliance. This coalition came together in 2022 to work on increasing state funding for emergency shelters, and alliance members especially appreciate that the HOME Illinois summary in the state budget book states that the plan includes “$155 million to support unhoused populations seeking shelter and services, inclusive of $55 million to the Emergency and Transitional Housing Program.”

This is very close to the $61.38 million funding level the alliance has advocated for to meet immediate crisis needs, including an increase in unsheltered homelessness at a time when federal pandemic relief funds for shelter are becoming fully exhausted. It is a critically needed increase from the current funding level of $10.38 million.

In addition, the HOME Illinois plan increases funding for initiatives to prevent people from ever needing emergency shelter to begin with and expands access to permanent housing so that individuals and families are in shelter for as brief a time as possible.

Addressing racial inequality and injustice is foundational to the HOME Illinois plan. Proposal materials cite Housing Action Illinois’ 2019 data analysis demonstrating that in Illinois, Black people are eight times more likely to experience homelessness than white people.

You can read the full Illinois Shelter Alliance response to the HOME Illinois proposal, from Doug Kenshol, co-founder of the coalition and Executive Director of South Suburban PADS, here »

More details are are needed to better understand the scope and impact of HOME Illinois plan, and as we receive more information, Housing Action Illinois will be working with alliance members and other allies to analyze the proposal in depth.

We look forward to working with the Governor Pritzker’s administration, the Illinois Department of Human Services and other state agencies, members of the General Assembly, and other stakeholders to ensure that these resources effectively reach the individuals and families in Illinois who are facing the most severe housing challenges.

Sign up for our policy alerts here or get in touch with Bob Palmer, our Policy Director:
bob@housingactionil.org | (312) 939-6075