Housing Action Illinois publishes research and analysis on issues related to affordable housing. Learn more about our policy advocacy and public education and organizing »
Know Your Rights Cover Out of Reach 2020
July 2020

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Illinois, renters need to earn $21.30 per hour. This is Illinois’ 2020 Housing Wage, revealed in Out of Reach 2020, a report jointly released in Illinois by Housing Action Illinois and the DC-based National Low Income Housing Coalition. Download the report »

Know Your Rights CoverKnow Your Rights – Just Housing Amendment
March 2020

The Just Housing Amendment is now in effect in Cook County. Download our brochure, designed to help people with arrest and conviction records understand their new housing rights. Download the brochure: English or Spanish »

The Gap 2020 CoverThe Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes
March 2020

A new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing Action Illinois finds that there are only 36 available and affordable homes for low-income renters in Illinois. The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to financially-vulnerable families and individuals. Read the report »

A Place to Call Home CoverA Place to Call Home
January 2020

The stories of people who live in supportive housing can shed light on important issues, such as what it is like to experience homelessness or live with mental illness or a disability. Because of this, during 2019, Housing Action partnered with the Supportive Housing Providers Association to bring a series of five workshops to help residents of supportive housing explore telling stories to make a difference. This collection shares stories from participants in the workshops. Read the publication »

Black and White Disparities in Homelessness in Illinois Policy Brief CoverBlack and White Disparities in Homelessness
September 2019

This policy brief examines racial disparities in homelessness throughout Illinois and provides policy recommendations for addressing them. Analyzing newly available federal data, the brief finds that Black Illinoisans are eight times more likely to experience homelessness than White Illinoisans. By calculating racial equity severity scores, the brief contextualizes disparities in each region of the state. Although Black Illinoisans make up 14% of the state’s population, 30% of Illinoisans experiencing poverty and 59% experiencing homelessness are Black. Download the report »

Navigating the Jargon: Illinois Housing & Homelessness AcronymsNavigating the Jargon: Illinois Housing & Homelessness Acronyms
August 2019

It can be difficult to keep track of all the acronyms used in the housing and homelessness fields—so Housing Action Illinois compiled an acronym guide that conveniently lists the most commonly used acronyms in Illinois housing and homelessness discussions all in one place. View the guide »

Out of Reach 2019 Report Housing WageOut of Reach 2019
June 2019

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Illinois, renters need to earn $20.85 per hour. This is Illinois’ 2019 Housing Wage, revealed in Out of Reach 2019, a report jointly released in Illinois by Chicago-based Housing Action Illinois and the DC-based National Low Income Housing Coalition. Download the report »

HUD-Approved Client Management Systems Guide 2.0
March 2019

This updated version of the Housing Action Illinois’ 2016 Client Management System (CMS) Guide was published to aid agencies as they replace Home Counselor Online (HCO), the most commonly used CMS, which will be now discontinued at the end of October 2019. The digital resource, which is available for free online, helps users assess their options through an at-a-glance comparison chart and detailed individual system profiles. View the guide »

Eviction Brief GraphicEviction in Illinois
February 2019

Eviction is prevalent throughout Illinois. This policy issue brief by Housing Action Illinois explores state level data, taking a look at the 56,948 eviction cases filed against Illinois tenants in 2016. 46% of of these cases resulted in eviction, indicating that more than 72 Illinoisans and their families lose their homes every day. 54% of  the households facing eviction did not have a negative determination against them but still ended up with an eviction filing on the public record that may be a serious obstacle to finding a future home. Read the issue brief »

Out of Reach 2018Out of Reach 2018: The High Cost of Housing
June 2018

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Illinois, renters need to earn $20.34 per hour. This is Illinois’ 2018 Housing Wage, revealed in Out of Reach 2018, a report jointly released in Illinois by Chicago-based Housing Action Illinois and the DC-based National Low Income Housing Coalition. Download the report »

RenttoOwnBrochureKnow the Law: Rent-To-Own Contracts
April 2018

Our brochure on rent-to-own contracts helps prospective home buyers identify warning signs of predatory contracts for deed and understand new consumer protections provided in the Installment Sales Contract Act (765 ILCS 67). Learn more about passing these protections with a PDF of the brochure, or fill out a form to request physical copies in English or Spanish for yourself or your agency. Download the brochure: English or Spanish »

Prejudged: The Stigma of Eviction Filings

March 2018

This report by Housing Action Illinois and the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) explores how an eviction filing on the public record is a serious obstacle to finding housing for people whose cases did not result in them actually getting evicted. This is true even in cases where the tenant didn’t violate their lease in any way. Prejudged: The Stigma of Eviction Records shows that 39% of eviction cases filed in Cook County during the past four years did not result in an eviction order and/or other judgment against the tenant. We estimate more than 15,000 people in Cook County each year ended up or will end up with a public eviction record when they never received a judgment against them in eviction court or were actually evicted. Download the report »

Out of Reach 2017: The High Cost of Housing
June 2017

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Illinois, renters need to earn $20.87 per hour. This is Illinois’ 2017 Housing Wage, revealed in Out of Reach 2017, a report jointly released in Illinois by Chicago-based Housing Action Illinois and the DC-based National Low Income Housing Coalition. Download the report »

Fair Lending: Know Your Rights
August 2016

Our brochure on fair lending helps renters and home buyers identify warning signs of lending discrimination, find fair housing enforcement agencies, and figure out how to file a complaint. Download a PDF of the brochure or contact us to request physical copies for yourself or your agency. Download the brochure »

HUD-Approved Client Management Systems
June 2016

This comprehensive review of HUD-approved Client Management Systems (CMSs) presents side-by-side profiles of each system to help housing counseling agencies choose the one that best fits their needs. The decision is an important one, as agencies rely on CMSs to manage their work with clients and track their outcomes while helping households seeking to make informed home purchases or rental decisions, repair credit, and budget for the future. Trying to compare these complicated systems can be daunting to a housing counseling organization, especially since many don’t have an IT department to help evaluate or keep up a CMS. Download the guide »

Without a State Budget the Affordable Housing Needs of More than 172,000 People Will Be Needlessly UmmetWithout a State Budget the Affordable Housing Needs of More Than 172,000 People Will Be Needlessly Unmet
December 2015

As the state budget impasse nears its six-month mark, the State of Illinois has accumulated $107.8 million in 7 dedicated funds to create affordable housing and end homelessness. However, these funds—such as the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds—cannot be spent without approval by the General Assembly and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. These 7 dedicated funds—6 state funds and one federal fund—have their own revenue sources and are separate and apart from General Revenue Funds (GRF) collected from income taxes and other revenue sources. Spending these dedicated funds would not increase the state budget deficit. Based on the budget passed by the General Assembly in May 2015, the report estimates that resources from these dedicated funds and a small amount of GRF could fund programs serving the affordable housing needs of 172,350 people and provide funding for 14,640 units of affordable housing. Download the report »

report_nov2015Not Even A Place In Line for Illinois Families Who Need Affordable Housing
November 2015

Seventy-two percent of waiting lists for Housing Choice Vouchers in Illinois are closed, according to a report released today by Housing Action Illinois and the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance. The 51 public housing authorities (PHAs) with closed waiting lists administer 95 percent of the vouchers available in the state. Closed waiting lists mean that people in need of affordable rental housing in most every part of Illinois do not have the opportunity to even get in line to secure a federally funded subsidy that would alleviate their poverty and put their household in a better position to thrive. The last time this information was collected in 2007, the number of PHAs with closed voucher waiting lists was significantly lower—only 56 percent of all PHAs with a voucher program. Download the report »

State Budget Impasse is Causing Homelessness in IllinoisSurvey Results: The State Budget Impasse Is Causing Homelessness in Illinois
Advocates Call for a Responsible Budget with Adequate Revenue
September 2015

A survey of state-funded homeless service providers found that the state budget impasse has forced, or will soon force, almost all of these nonprofit agencies—90%—to deny assistance to people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. Agencies are having to deny assistance by taking one or more of the following actions: limiting intake of new clients; reducing or eliminating services for current clients; staff layoffs, implementing furlough days or reduced work hours for staff; eliminating programs; and/or closing sites. Download the report »

Another Hole Appears in the Safety Net for People Experiencing HomelessnessAnother Hole Appears in Safety Net for People Experiencing Homelessness
Survey Shows Funds for Homelessness Prevention Not Available This Winter in Half of Illinois Communities
November 2011

Agencies that administer homeless prevention grants across Illinois report that 55% of them will run out of funds by Dec. 31, leaving no help for families facing homelessness, according to a statewide survey released Monday. Download the report »

Moving or Moving UpMoving or Moving Up?: Understanding Residential Mobility for Housing Choice Voucher Families in Illinois
April 2011

There has been a longstanding belief by communities outside of Chicago that scores of voucher holders from Chicago – particularly former residents of Chicago’s public housing – moved into their communities since the Chicago Housing Authority began demolishing buildings in 2000. Data from 2000 – 2007, which covers the majority of the time when CHA high rises were being demolished, shows Chicago voucher holders representing a small percentage of the ports into most jurisdictions during this 8 year period. Download the report »

report_nov2010Mortgage Loan Servicers Need To Be Held Accountable: Data in New Report Demonstrates that Homeowners Wait Far Too Long for Loan Modifications
November 2010

A new report released today by Housing Action Illinois provides additional evidence to support the position that mortgage loan servicers in the Chicago metropolitan area are not agreeing to affordable loan modifications for the great majority of homeowners facing foreclosure and are not committing sufficient resources to respond to homeowners in an accurate and timely manner as required by the directives for the Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) program and other federal loan modification programs. The report was completed as part of Housing Action Illinois’ Servicer Accountability Initiative (SAI), which collected data on cases from 661 individual homeowners working with one of ten HUD-certified counseling agencies in the Chicago metro area between December 2009 and September 2010. Download the report »

More Budget Cuts and Delayed Payments Will Increase Homelessness in IllinoisMore Budget Cuts and Delayed Payments Will Increase Homelessness in Illinois
March 2010

Four advocacy groups working to create affordable housing and end homelessness released a report today demonstrating that unless the State of Illinois passes comprehensive tax reform even more people will lose their housing and become homeless. The report was based on a survey of state-funded providers of homelessness prevention funds, emergency shelter, homeless youth programs, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing. Download the report »

Are We Home YetCHA Voucher Holders Continue to Be Concentrated in Segregated, Poor Chicago Communities
February 2010

A report issued today, Are We Home Yet? Creating Real Choice for Housing Choice Voucher Families in Chicago finds that the majority of the Chicago Housing Authority’s 35,000 Housing Choice Voucher households reside in predominately African-American, high poverty neighborhoods within the City of Chicago, and that more voucher families are now concentrated in these types of communities than ten years ago. Download the report »

From the Front Lines of ForeclosureFrom the Front Lines of Foreclosure, Counseling Agencies Struggle to Meet Demand: Suburban homeowners less likely to receive foreclosure counseling
July 2009

Housing counselors are struggling to keep up with strong demand for foreclosure prevention services, while some communities lack counseling resources all together, according to a new report by Housing Action Illinois, a counseling advocate, and Woodstock Institute. The report, entitled On the Foreclosure Front Lines: Surveying the Capacity of HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agencies in Illinois, finds that much of South Suburban Cook County, McHenry County, and parts of Northwest Will County have startling gaps in counseling services. Even in areas where several agencies actively provide foreclosure prevention counseling, four out of every five new foreclosure cases in 2008 did not access counseling services. Download the report »

Use of Homeless Shelters in Illinois Significantly Increased in Second Half of 2008Use of Homeless Shelters in Illinois Significantly Increased During Second Half of 2008
January 2009

Homeless service providers in Illinois saw a marked increase in the need for their services during the last six months of 2008. This is a trend that is likely to continue as long as the economy continues to worsen. During December 2008, 71% of state-funded providers of overnight and transitional shelter reported serving an increased number of people experiencing homelessness compared to six months previous. According to the report released by Housing Action Illinois, more than one-third, 35%, of agencies reported an increase of more than 10%. Download the report »

Mortgage Loan Servicers Need to Be Held AccountableLoan Servicers Rarely Offer Relief to Illinois Homeowners Facing Foreclosure: Federal Moratorium on Foreclosures and Mandate to Modify Loans Needed
December 2008

Even as the number of home foreclosures continues to increase, 75% of loan servicers rarely agree to workout plans that allow homeowners in Illinois to maintain their homes. These survey findings, reported in Who’s Serving Whom? Analyzing The Frequency Of Loan Servicer Modifications, provide evidence to support federal legislation to systematically and automatically modify loan terms, a temporary federal moratorium on home foreclosures until such legislation becomes law, and other measures. Housing Action Illinois conducted a survey of HUD-certified housing counseling agencies in September 2008 to determine how often specific loan servicers offered workout plans to homeowners in order to avoid foreclosure. Download the report »

Illinois Housing Action Illinois Briefing Book 2008Briefing Book Calls for Affordable Housing in Capital Budget
February 2008

At the state capital yesterday, a briefing book for state legislators was released, calling for the inclusion of affordable housing funding in the state’s capital budget. Download the briefing book »

Housing Oak Park Report 2007Housing Oak Park Identifies Plan for Residents, Village, to Get Involved in Affordable Housing
November 2007

Housing Oak Park has recently released a compilation of resources and recommendations to maintain the inclusive nature of Oak Park. Accessible for both concerned citizens and government officials. Download the report »

Kane County Housing Action Coalition Report on Affordable HousingKane County Housing Action Coalition Report on Affordable Housing in Kane County, Illinois
November 2007

Prepared by the Kane County Housing Action Coalition in association with Housing Action Illinois, this report was created to assess the current state of affordable housing in Kane County, Illinois. Download the report »

Dekalb Workforce Housing Report 2007DeKalb County Housing Action Coalition Report on Workforce Housing in DeKalb County, Illinois
Novmeber 2007

Prepared by the DeKalb County Housing Action Coalition, this report focuses on whether the future workforce in the county will be able to find housing while paying less than the recommended level of 30% of their budget. Download the report »

IHARP report on housing for people with disabilities in IllinoisIHARP Report on Locating Affordable and Accessible Housing for People with Disabilities in Illinois
May 2007

The Illinois Assisted Housing Action Research Project (IHARP) is an assisted housing database project for Chicago and the state of Illinois. This IHARP report examines accessible and adaptable affordable housing options for persons with disabilities in Illinois. Unlike past IHARP reports that focused on a particular program, we are looking at all subsidized housing programs in Illinois to get a better understanding of what exists, where it is located and to whom it is available. Download the report »

Housing Counselors Report on HB4050Housing Counselors Report That HB 4050 Helped Borrowers Understand Unaffordable and Misleading Loans
April 2007

11 HUD-certified Counseling Agencies that participated in the HB 4050 Predatory Lending Database (‘PLD’) Pilot Program released a report on the services they provided under the Pilot Program.  The report finds that many borrowers did not understand the terms of the loans that they were getting and that loan terms were often unaffordable and misleading for borrowers. Download the report »

Insecure in Your Own Home 2006Insecure in Your Own Home: What It Means to Rent in Illinois
January 2006

Lockouts, forcible entry, and security deposit disputes are common occurrences for Illinois renters, according to a new report called “Insecure in Your Own Home: What It Means to Rent in Illinois,” released by the Illinois Tenants Rights Working Group. The report calls attention to the experiences of statewide survey respondents who lack the basic consumer protections for safe, stable, and secure housing. Download the report »

IHARP Report on HOMEIHARP Report on HOME Program
November 2004

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) released a report evaluating the federal HOME Housing Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, the most important source of federal funds cities and counties have at their disposal to improve local housing conditions. Download the report »