A stronger Illinois begins at home

aka Housing Action   |   Chicago, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 36-3585238


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


Executive Director

Sharon Legenza

Main address

67 East Madison #1603

Chicago, IL 60603 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Statewide Housing Action Coalition



Subject area info

Housing development

Shelter and residential care

Population served info

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (L01)

Management & Technical Assistance (L02)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (L05)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms


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
Economically disadvantaged people

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
Economically disadvantaged people

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
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of stories successfully placed in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Policy Advocacy & Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of conference attendees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Policy Advocacy & Education

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success


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:

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.30 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 17% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of HOUSING ACTION ILLINOIS’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $154,529 $76,021 $322,042 $249,871 $22,483
As % of expenses 7.5% 2.9% 10.1% 9.7% 0.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $148,739 $71,376 $318,443 $246,805 $19,671
As % of expenses 7.2% 2.7% 10.0% 9.6% 0.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,131,559 $2,660,094 $3,491,523 $2,882,437 $3,360,179
Total revenue, % change over prior year -0.7% 24.8% 31.3% -17.4% 16.6%
Program services revenue 3.4% 2.0% 0.8% 0.8% 2.3%
Membership dues 1.3% 1.5% 0.7% 1.3% 1.1%
Investment income 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.4%
Government grants 73.7% 74.2% 67.0% 67.3% 70.5%
All other grants and contributions 15.2% 13.7% 28.0% 25.8% 22.6%
Other revenue 6.2% 8.3% 3.3% 4.6% 3.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,070,044 $2,636,273 $3,194,481 $2,567,566 $3,113,528
Total expenses, % change over prior year -1.0% 27.4% 21.2% -19.6% 21.3%
Personnel 37.0% 27.0% 25.1% 33.1% 30.1%
Professional fees 9.0% 7.6% 7.4% 8.5% 10.3%
Occupancy 3.1% 2.9% 2.5% 3.2% 2.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 25.4% 42.9% 49.1% 36.8% 39.2%
All other expenses 25.5% 19.6% 15.9% 18.5% 17.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,075,834 $2,640,918 $3,198,080 $2,570,632 $3,116,340
One month of savings $172,504 $219,689 $266,207 $213,964 $259,461
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $2,248,338 $2,860,607 $3,464,287 $2,784,596 $3,375,801

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.7 2.5 3.2 7.4 4.1
Months of cash and investments 2.7 2.5 3.2 7.4 4.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.3 2.9 3.6 5.7 4.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $457,493 $556,007 $840,287 $1,586,728 $1,076,747
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $648,602 $705,145 $725,549 $720,420 $1,123,557
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $29,396 $29,396 $29,396 $29,396 $29,396
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 52.0% 67.8% 80.0% 90.4% 100.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 42.8% 48.3% 39.9% 45.5% 37.7%
Unrestricted net assets $577,580 $648,956 $967,399 $1,214,204 $1,233,875
Temporarily restricted net assets $77,200 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $77,200 $25,000 $0 $65,000 $280,208
Total net assets $654,780 $673,956 $967,399 $1,279,204 $1,514,083

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Sharon Legenza

Sharon K. Legenza is the Executive Director of Housing Action Illinois. Prior to joining Housing Action, she served as the interim Executive Director for the ACLU of Alaska, having temporarily relocated to Alaska to conduct an ACLU-sponsored human rights investigation of the state prison system. Sharon has served as of counsel with the law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland, as the Fair Housing Project Director for the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and as an associate with the law firm of Sidley Austin. She has successfully litigated numerous civil rights and constitutional law cases, and is an expert on fair and affordable housing issues. Sharon currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations. Sharon is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization


Board of directors
as of 11/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Darsonya Switzer

Dove Inc.

Board co-chair

Carl Wolf

Respond Now

Kurt Kuyawa

Citizens Bank NA

Niccole Clemments


Bob Campbell

Zion Development Corporation

Jackie Newman

Springfield Housing Authority

Cornell Lurry

Midland States Bank

Margaret Wooten

Reach CDC

Darsonya Switzer

Dove, Inc.

Carl Wolf

Respond Now

Shalonda Bedenfield-Causey

FHLBank Chicago

John Herring

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living

Horacio Mendez

Woodstock Institute

Laura Olvera-Yarza

Community Partners for Affordable Housing

Shelly Richardson

Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois

Paula Bush

North West Housing Partnership

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/2/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data



Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.