CHICAGO – April 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn sent a message of welcome to Illinois to federal housing leaders to Illinois as they addressed the 500 attendees at the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Governor Quinn commends the state’s housing industry leaders for their dedication to ensure working families, seniors and people with disabilities access to have safe, affordable housing.
“We are focused on creating and stabilizing affordable housing in Illinois communities to build momentum for our state’s economic recovery,” Governor Quinn said. “Housing is key to job growth and strengthening communities, and we are committed to continuing our progress in boosting affordable housing opportunities throughout our state.”
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan delivered the keynote address, and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Janice Eberly also addressed Illinois’ housing leaders.
“I want to thank Governor Quinn for his leadership on housing issues and for providing a collaborative forum to address the most critical housing issues impacting Illinois communities,” HUD Secretary Donovan said. “We are impressed by the innovative approaches to housing we are seeing here in Illinois. The Obama Administration is committed to encouraging local solutions and to ensuring that Illinois' successes can be a model for community transformation across the country.”
“I applaud Governor Quinn’s commitment to helping people stay in their homes - tens of thousands of struggling Illinois homeowners have already received help through the administration's programs, including the Illinois Hardest Hit Program,” Assistant Secretary Eberly said. “This is a good start, and we will continue to do more to address the economic challenges we face here in the state of Illinois and throughout the country.”
The conference’s two days of sessions also featured state housing leaders discussing supportive housing, rental housing development, community stabilization, financing and affordable homeownership. Representatives of the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), and the Illinois Department on Aging participated in the event.
Governor Quinn’s administration has created new programs to make homeownership more affordable and create solutions for families and communities hurt by the foreclosure crisis.
- Last year, Governor Quinn launched the Illinois Hardest Hit program (www.illinoishardesthit.org) to offer up to $25,000 in temporary financial assistance to help homeowners who have experienced a job loss or pay cut continue to make their mortgage payments. The program uses $445 million in federal Treasury funds. To date, nearly 1,800 Illinois homeowners are approved to receive assistance that will help them stay in their homes.
- In December, Governor Quinn introduced the Welcome Home Heroes program to help Veterans secure a home. The program offers secure, fixed-rate loans and up to $10,000 in down payment assistance to thousands of military families, creating more than 400 jobs throughout Illinois. To date, $14 million in Welcome Home Heroes financing has enabled 130 military families to buy a home. Under Governor Quinn, IHDA has helped over 6,000 Illinois families buy homes and stabilize communities with $342 million in loans, grants and down payment assistance.
- In February, Governor Quinn announced the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). The IFPN is a one-stop-shop linking homeowners with available foreclosure prevention assistance. The collaboration between IHDA, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides access to counseling services, legal advice, mortgage payment assistance programs, foreclosure prevention events and tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud. Network resources are available at www.KeepYourHomeIllinois.org, and via a free hotline 1-855-KEEP-411 (1-855-533-7411) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
- The Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, a joint program of the state and Cook County launched in February, is rehabilitating vacant properties and increasing affordable housing in the communities of Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Park Forest, Riverdale and South Holland. The $55 million pilot phase of the program targets the six communities to stabilize neighborhoods, protect property values, preserve the existing local tax base and increase affordable housing. Foreclosures have devastated both families and communities. Studies have shown a foreclosed property can decrease property values located in the same block by as much as $10,000.
“Governor Quinn has long worked as a strong advocate for affordable housing, and his administration has supported important legislation and housing initiatives,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “The Illinois Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing provides an opportunity for our state’s housing partners to share best practices and forge new partnerships to continue positioning Illinois as a national leader.”
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (www.ihda.org) is an independent, self-supporting bonding authority that finances the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Illinois. Since 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $11.1 billion to finance more than 221,000 affordable housing units for the residents of Illinois.