HOUSING ACTION ILLINOIS

A stronger Illinois begins at home

aka Housing Action   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.housingactionil.org

Mission

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide network of 160+ organizations united in the belief that everyone deserves a good home, and we've been leading the movement for affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. Our members include housing counseling agencies, homeless service providers, developers of affordable housing and policymakers. Housing Action brings everyone together to advocate for laws and policies that protect renters and homeowners and help end homelessness; trains and offers one-on-one support to housing counselors and developers; and educates decision makers, the media, and the public about issues related to housing.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Sharon Legenza

Main address

67 East Madison #1603

Chicago, IL 60603 USA

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Formerly known as

Statewide Housing Action Coalition

EIN

36-3585238

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (L01)

Management & Technical Assistance (L02)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (L05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Across Illinois, residents face impossibly high rents and home prices. Federal and state funding for critical housing programs have not kept pace with rising costs, and neither have wages. Far too many people experience homelessness and housing insecurity, including veterans, seniors, and families with children. Without enough available, affordable, safe, accessible homes, low-income residents may have to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and buying other necessities, such as groceries or medicine.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Capacity Building

Housing Action Illinois is passionate about helping housing counseling agencies and housing developers build their capacity, become more efficient, and develop their skills. We share our extensive experience and knowledge through a wide range of workshops, one-on-one support, direct technical assistance, and working groups on key topics. We also advocate for the resources these nonprofits need to most effectively fulfill their missions.

We want to make sure that agencies throughout Illinois can keep up with changing trends, new technology, and complicated regulations.

Population(s) Served

Policy Advocacy

Many voices are stronger than one. By mobilizing our members and allies to advocate for our collective public policy agenda, Housing Action Illinois amplifies the influence of community-based organizations working to end homelessness, create affordable rental housing, and promote sustainable homeownership. On our own and through coalition work with partners, we have been able to secure a multitude of policy victories in Springfield and Washington D.C. that benefit renters and homeowners.

Public Education and Organizing

We build awareness by sharing information and personal stories with policymakers, elected officials, nonprofit service providers, and the media. In addition to keeping our members informed about the latest developments in housing policy, we organize issue-specific working groups, meetings with legislators, and an annual Housing Matters! conference where advocates and practitioners share their knowledge and experience.

Population(s) Served

As part of our work to expand the capacity of our member organizations and end housing instability in Illinois, Housing Action Illinois manages a network AmeriCorps VISTAs placed with our member organizations throughout the state.

AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed specifically to end poverty, and our VISTA members commit to serve our communities full-time for a year. They fill a wide variety of roles, but all are aimed at ending poverty and helping communities by expanding and improving the availability of decent, affordable, accessible housing in Illinois.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Home is the foundation upon which we build our lives. It affects our access to education, our health, our ability to find employment, nurture our children, save money, and create a better future. Our vision for Illinois is to create an environment where all residents, including people with the lowest incomes, have a voice in housing policy and community development. Housing Action Illinois seeks to unite community stakeholders, such as residents, businesses, and government to work together to increase the supply and availability of affordable housing across the state. We won't rest until everyone in our state has a good, affordable place to call home.

As a statewide coalition, we unite a network of 160+ member organizations to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing throughout Illinois. Together we empower communities to thrive through three program areas: Capacity Building, Public Education and Organizing, and Policy Advocacy.

To build capacity of nonprofit agencies, we help nonprofit housing counseling agencies and developers serve their communities through skill-building workshops and one-on-one guidance to create new programs and keep up with new technology, changing trends, and complicated regulations. We facilitate the distribution of HUD housing counseling funds and place about 60 full-time and summer AmeriCorps VISTAs with our member organizations. We also unite our members to advocate for state, and federal policy changes that will protect renters and homeowners from housing discrimination, increase opportunities for people with disabilities, and end homelessness.

Our coalition is rooted in the rural, urban, and suburban communities our members serve, which means our programs and initiatives are developed directly in response to the ever-changing needs expressed by our partners throughout all regions of Illinois. These conversations have led to programmatic expansions, such as becoming a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Intermediary in 2014 and an AmeriCorps VISTA Program Sponsor in 2010, introducing new trainings for housing counselors (such as for rental housing and financial planning for higher education) in the past couple of years, and bringing innovative workshops to our annual conference. With three decades of knowledge and experience, we channel the collective power of our members and allies to better influence public policy and expand service across the state.

Working collaboratively with and for our members, we have accomplished a great deal in 30+ years. Our first major milestone was establishing of the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 1990, which now facilitates nearly all public, private, and nonprofit affordable housing activity in IL and has helped to build and preserve 69,000+ affordable units. We advocated to create the Homeless Prevention Program in 1999, which has prevented 109,000+ households from homelessness, and to create the Rental Housing Support Program in 2005, which assists 2,500 extremely low-income households each year.

In 2017, we released reports on the cost of housing and eviction in Illinois and secured protections for would-be homebuyers from predatory rent-to-own contracts. In FY18, we will distribute $1.26M in HUD funds, continue to manage a strong AmeriCorps VISTA network, and pursue a robust policy agenda. For more information, please visit: http://housingactionil.org/who-we-are/accomplishments

Financials

HOUSING ACTION ILLINOIS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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HOUSING ACTION ILLINOIS

Board of directors
as of 3/23/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mary Lu Seidel

National Trust for Historic Preservation


Board co-chair

Wally King

Bethany Village Family Crisis Resource Center

Mary Ellen Tamasy

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Aurie Pennick

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Paul Selden

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