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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:49pm
Tue Jul 24, 2012

Board Takes First Step Toward Cook County Land Bank

The Cook County Board passed a resolution today setting up a committee that has 60 days to devise a model for a county land bank, an ambitious proposal that board President Toni Preckwinkle called a “critical tool to help combat the foreclosure crisis and eradicate blight in our communities.”

As we have reported, a land bank is a quasi-governmental organization intended to seize and manage properties until they can be put into productive use.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
10:52am
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Advocacy Group Wants Infrastructure Trust Used For Vacant Properties

The Infrastructure Trust ordinance, a plan where private investors will fund public infrastructure, passed City Council over two months ago, but the city has not identified Trust projects, besides an initial plan to retrofit municipal buildings.

So the Chicago advocacy group Action Now, which previously opposed the Trust, unveiled their own detailed proposal yesterday, calling for the Trust and developers to turn vacant city properties into affordable rental homes.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
5:07pm
Tue Jun 5, 2012

Not A Misprint: Homeless Services Expanded In New State Budget

Despite the drumbeat of fiscal austerity that lead to other significant social service cuts, the Illinois General Assembly last week actually passed a budget for next year with meaningful increases – yes, increases – in money for key state programs to help the homeless, and those in danger of becoming homeless.

The state did this through taking money from a trust fund reserved for affordable housing. In an ideal world for homeless service providers, money to fund their work would have come from general revenue funds.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
1:36pm
Tue Apr 3, 2012

Advocates Balk At CHA's New Plan For Transformation Input Process

The Chicago Housing Authority has completed most of its scheduled public input process for the “Plan For Transformation 2.0” – but advocates criticize CHA for not providing a better idea of how they might re-transform public housing.

“It appears to be a pretty limited public input process,” says John McDermott, housing and land use director of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:53pm
Thu Mar 15, 2012

Study Finds Illinois Lacks Affordable Housing, Advocates Lament Proposed Cuts

More than 50 percent of renters in Illinois don’t have enough money to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the state, a report released Tuesday by Housing Action Illinois and the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows.

The housing wage in Illinois is $16.78. That means a family must earn at least that hourly amount for 40 hours a week and 52 weeks per year in order to pay rent and utilities for a safe, modest two-bedroom apartment.

But the average private-housing renter in Illinois earns $13.95, which is $2.82 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a unit, said Bob Palmer, policy director at Housing Action Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:51am
Tue Feb 21, 2012

Report Finds Shortage Of Housing For Illinois' Lowest Paid Workers

There simply aren't enough rental homes available to extremely low-income households in Illinois, according to a new report, and housing advocates say that needs to change in order to prevent increased homelessness in the state.

Twenty-eight rental homes are both affordable and available for every 100 renter households that are considered extremely low-income, the report (PDF) from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing Action Illinois found.

PI Original
by
4:20pm
Wed Jun 15, 2011

How Big Banks Displace Families Who Rent

Banks taking over foreclosed properties are considered the new homeowners, but what happens when the building is home to dozens of families who rent? A local neighborhood group says that should make the banks the landlords too -- at least temporarily.

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