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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:48pm
Wed Nov 4, 2015

Report: Most Waitlists For Housing Choice Vouchers Closed In Illinois

As demand for federal housing vouchers intensifies in Illinois, residents in need of affordable rental housing are encountering mostly closed waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program across the state, a new report shows.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families and is administered locally by public housing authorities (PHAs).

Of the 71 PHAs with active Housing Choice Voucher programs in Illinois, 51, or 72 percent, have closed voucher waitlists, according to the report from Housing Action Illinois and the Social IMPACT Research Center.

"This means 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 report authors wrote.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:20pm
Tue Oct 27, 2015

Emanuel's Proposed Property Tax Hike Could Hit Renters Hard, Report Shows

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

Emanuel wants to increase property taxes by a record $588 million over four years to pay for police and fire pensions and school construction. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the mayor's budget package, including the property tax increase, at Wednesday's council meeting.

A report released Tuesday by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, examined the potential impact of the proposed property tax hike on renters in two-flat buildings across seven North Side neighborhoods.

The grassroots social justice group found that tenants in two-flats on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides could see their rent increase between $50 to $100 a month, or $600 to $1,200 a year, after the property tax increase is fully implemented.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:04pm
Thu Sep 10, 2015

New Overtime Proposal Could Have Big Impact On Single Mothers, Women Of Color

A recent analysis shows 3.2 million women would become newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the Obama administration's new overtime proposal. Women of color and single mothers would be impacted the most by the proposed overtime policy, according to the research. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:09pm
Tue Aug 25, 2015

What's The Status Of Women's Equality In Illinois?

Ahead of Women's Equality Day on Wednesday, a new study shows Illinois is the third most equal state for women. But don't get too cheery over the findings, independent experts say. 

WalletHub, the personal finance website, ranked all 50 U.S. states on gender equality in three areas: education, political empowerment and workplace environment. Illinois had the third best overall ranking, behind New York at No.2 and Hawaii at No. 1. Utah earned the worst ranking.

A leader with the Chicago-based advocacy group Women Employed was pleased to see Illinois come in third for women's equality. However, the ranking "doesn't mean things are primarily good for women in Illinois," stressed Women Employed's Associate Director Jenny Wittner.

"It just means that by certain measures (conditions are) better than other states," she said.

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
9:38pm
Mon Aug 10, 2015

CAN TV Workers Set To Vote On Unionizing At Public Access TV Station

Chicago Access Network Television (CAN-TV) workers will continue their push for unionization, with Tuesday being a critical day in their drive for representation thanks to a scheduled National Labor Relations Board election.

CAN-TV employees are looking to unionize due to low wages, complaints about working conditions and hours, as well as "feeling disrespct[ed] and marginaliz[ed] by management," according to an announcement.

At a recent press conference and rally, CAN-TV executive director Barbara Popovic gave a statement on behalf of the cable public access television station.

"CAN-TV recognizes the rights of our employees to hold an election, and as an employer we will not take any action to interfere with those fundamental rights," Popovic said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Thu Jun 18, 2015

Brighter Job Prospects Predicted For U.S. Teens This Summer

U.S. teens still face a pretty bleak employment landscape, but their job prospects are predicted to be a bit brighter this summer, according to a new study by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

The study estimates that the nationwide 2015 summer employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 will be 29.8 percent. That would represent the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, when the figure was 32.4 percent.

The predicted 2015 teen employment rate of 29.8 percent is up from 27 percent in the summer of 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2013.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:59pm
Tue Jun 16, 2015

As Demands Grow For Federal Rental Assistance, Housing Advocates Oppose Cuts In House Budget Bill

Progress Illinois takes a look at the growing demand for federal rental assistance and why many housing advocates are opposing a controversial appropriations bill approved by the U.S. House last week. 

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