CRN Releases DOH Analysis
CRN presented an analysis during a Sept.
19 hearing before the city's Committee on Housing
and Real Estate. It included a call for an update on the
reporting process for the expanded Affordable
Below are excerpts from the analysis:
In the 2nd Quarter, preservation was at the forefront of
DOH's activities. In June, the Preservation Compact
was launched. It was the beginning a joint endeavor
between the city and local organizations to preserve
75,000 affordable rental housing units in Cook County
by the year 2020. The road towards this goal will
certainly pose challenges and we look forward to the
cooperation and commitment of the Department of
Housing and Compact members to stem the critical
loss of affordable rental housing options.
A recent study conducted by MCIC called
Income Diversity and the Context of Community
Development was noted. The study logs income
trends in all 77 community areas of the city. Of
particular note are the baseline definitions of income
that MCIC applies to neighborhoods. Housing
resources are allocated by the Department of Housing
according to the HUD Primary Metropolitan Statistical
Area (PMSA) median incomes-a multi-county regional
indicator which defines "low-income" for a family of
four at 80% of median, or $59,600. MCIC's baseline
definition of low-income is set at $38,622 which is
$20,000 lower than that used by the Department of
This study further establishes what we all know:
there is great disparity between targeted
income levels used by the city for its housing
programs and the "actual" income levels of
residents. We reaffirm our call that the city's
income targeting threshold be redefined to better align
with the citywide median income and better serve low-
or fixed-income households.
Highlights from this quarter's analysis include
three recently approved preservation projects:
Lorington Apartments, Drexel Preservation, and
Renaissance Place Apartments.
Click here to read or download the recent DOH report
For 25 years, the Chicago Rehab Network (CRN) has
worked to further the development and preservation
of safe affordable housing in Chicago, and throughout
the state of Illinois.
|HOT STUFF: Home District Visits with Ill. Congressional Delegates
Over the past month, the Chicago Rehab Network
organized meetings with key congressional
lawmakers from Chicago who were home for
legislative breaks. The meetings were held to discuss
affordable housing legislation recently introduced at
the federal level. CRN members and staff met with
key legislators, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D), and Annette
de Caussen of Democrat Jesse L. Jackson's office.
Future meetings will be held with Rep. Jan
Schakowsky (D), Rep. Danny Davis and others.
The meeting with Congressman Gutierrez was hosted
by Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation. A large
part of the conversation was dedicated to subprime
lending and the nationwide mortgage crisis. Ofelia
Navarro, executive director of Spanish Coalition for
Housing, was the first to express concern. "People are
so in debt that they are unable to be helped," she said.
Navarro noted that her office used to see one or two of
these types of foreclosures at a time. Now the
numbers are staggering, she said.
Angela Hurlock, executive director of Claretian
Associates, attended the meeting at
Congressman Jackson's Homewood office. She
shared concerns about housing preservation,
especially for people on fixed incomes, and CSX site
Illinois legislators hold several influential positions in
the House. For example, Rep. Schakowsky
is the chief deputy whip of the House Democratic
Leadership. Senator Dick Durbin (D) is assistant
majority leader. With so many powerful political
leaders in place, it is vital that affordable housing
advocates stay in touch with their representatives.
Join us at 9 a.m. on Oct. 1 for a discussion with
Congresswoman Schakowsky. This is an opportunity
to share experiences and anecdotes with the
congresswoman as well as a chance to demonstrate
support for key upcoming legislation (such as
GSE, Trust Fund, and other regulatory fixes).
Photo: Chicago Rehab Network staffers, CRN
members and advocates meet with Rep. Gutierrez.
|CRN Testifies at City Budget Hearing
CRN submitted comments concerning the proposed
city of Chicago Budget for 2008 before Mayor Richard
M. Daley, Budget Commissioner Bennett Johnson III,
and the mayor's cabinet members in a packed
meeting room Aug. 30 at the Laughlin Falconer
School in the 31st Ward. The primary issue raised by
CRN about the budget and affordable housing is the
sudden "doubling" of the Corporate Fund allocation to
the Department of Housing, reportedly due to
accounting that includes Downtown Density Bonus
fee collection as part of the city's contribution to
As previously stated by CRN in numerous
conversations with the city, the fees from the
Downtown Density Bonus represent projected income
and are not collected immediately. Therefore CRN is
calling for a thorough accounting of the revenue
generated through these new affordable requirements
and assurance that it will be utilized appropriately.
CRN continues to call for a larger commitment of city
It is not too late to express your Proposed City Budget
concerns. A copy of the 2008 Preliminary Budget, a
transcript of CRN's oral testimony, and detailed
written testimony are available by clicking the link
||Click here for more about our budget testimony
|Housing Picture for Low-Income Vets Troubling
Disproportionately large numbers of military veterans
have appeared among the homeless population in
recent years, raising concerns about the incomes and
housing conditions of veterans who rent, rather than
own, their homes, according to a General
On any given night at least 194,000 veterans were
homeless in fiscal year 2005 - about one-third of the
adult homeless population - and many veteran
renters could be on the verge of homelessness, if they
had low incomes or precarious living conditions in
overcrowded or substandard housing, the Department
of Veterans Affairs reported.
The return of more veterans from service in Iraq and
Afghanistan -some with significant physical and
psychological challenges - could increase demand
for affordable housing with supportive services such
as mental health and substance abuse treatment.
However, neither the VA nor other government
agencies report information specifically on the
housing conditions or housing costs of veterans who
rent, the report noted.
In 2005, an estimated 2.3 million veteran renter
households, or about 53 percent of all veteran renter
households nationwide, were low income (their
household incomes were 80 percent or less of areas
median household incomes), and more than half of
these low-income households had problems
affording their rent, said the GAO.
An estimated 1.3 million, or about 56 percent of low-
income veteran renter households, had housing
affordability problems - that is, their rental costs
exceeded 30 percent of household incomes.
The majority of the 41 largest Public Housing
Authorities contacted had no veterans' preference for
admission to public housing or voucher programs,
and all of the 13 largest PBCAs contacted said
owners of project-based properties they oversee
generally do not have a veterans' preference, said the
GAO report. Specifically, according to GAO interviews
with 34 of the largest PHAs that administer public
housing programs, 14 (about 41 percent) offered a
veterans' preference in fiscal year 2006. Similarly, 13
of the 40 largest PHAs (about 33 percent) that
administer the housing choice voucher program
offered a veterans' preference.
Low-income veteran households were less likely to
receive HUD rental assistance than other low-income
households (that is, nonveteran households).
Specifically, of all low-income veteran households, an
estimated 11 percent received HUD rental assistance
in fiscal year 2005, whereas an estimated 19 percent
of other low-income households received assistance,
the GAO reported.
|CRN Comments on IDHA's Qualified Allocation Plan
The Chicago Rehab Network recently commented on
the funding priorities to be implemented in IHDA's
next Qualified Allocation Plan. Among CRN's
concerns were several categories of requirements
that taken together make things more difficult for
developers seeking to create affordable housing for
families and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit
policies that disadvantage 100 percent affordable
projects and run counter to the Governor's Housing
Plan and the housing needs of Illinois residents.
||Click here to see the full comments
|It's Membership Renewal Time!
Please renew your organization's membership now.
Invoices have been mailed to groups. Please check
with your organization's financial manager to make
sure that your group's dues are up to date. If you have
other questions, contact Hervenia Mitchell, at the
Chicago Rehab Network, 312-663-3936, or email
|Stay Tuned for Upcoming Trainings
Registration is open for housing counseling
professionals to participate in the "NeighborWorks
Course HO109: Beginning to Intermediate
Foreclosure" training session. Class will begin
promptly at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 11th and
end at 5:00 p.m. Class on Friday, October 12th will
begin at 8:30 a.m., and end at 4:00 p.m.
HO109 covers each aspect of default and delinquency
including reasons for default; ways to maximize
income and reduce expenses; calculations;
understanding the players in the mortgage
marketplace; loss-mitigation options for FHA-insured
and other loans; foreclosure laws and timelines; tips
on effectively intervening with lenders and servicers;
managing multiple mortgages or liens; and the pros
and cons of refinancing. This course also satisfies the
requirements for Part II of the NeighborWorks course,
Housing Counseling Certification: Principles,
Practices & Techniques, Part I, which together result
in an official Counselor Certification through
Classes will be held at the Illinois Community Action
Association (ICAA) Training Facility, 3435 Liberty Drive,
Springfield, IL 62704. Call 217-789-0125 for more
information. To register for this training, email
The Illinois Housing Development Authority will be
holding training workshops for the Revised 2008-
2009 and the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Program. Workshops will be held Oct. 11 in
Collinsville, Ill., Springfield, Ill, and Chicago.
Another Tax Credit Allocation Plan workshop will also
be held as part of the Second Annual Governor's
Conference on Affordable Housing, Dec. 10-11 in
Chicago. Contact Bret S. Beall at email@example.com, or
312-836-5303, or Ingrid McClung at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-836-7403. Click here for more
Our Preservation Organizing Training is
underway! CRN has begun the first of several four-
day trainings for community-based organizations
involved with forming tenant associations.
Through a partnership with the Midwest Academy,
this new curriculum combines topics pertinent to
those educating tenants and stakeholders about
preserving at-risk rental housing. For more
information, contact Rachel Johnson at
Additional trainings will be offered by CRN in coming
months, including "Using TIF Resources for
Affordable Housing" and "Tracking the Affordable
Requirements Ordinance and Making It work for Your
We're also pleased to announce that Northern
Trust will host the 2008 Community Development and
Empowerment Series. Stay tuned for details!
Claretian Associates, is seeking applicants
for the New Communities Program director position.
Claretian Associates reaches more than 2,000 low- to
moderate-income African-American and Latino
families each year through housing placements,
homeownership, financial literacy, rental assistance
The New Communities Program (NCP) is a long-term
comprehensive community development initiative
supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation
(LISC) that aims to support the implementation of
locally-driven quality-of-life plans in targeted Chicago
NCP requires each organization to hire a skilled
professional who will be responsible for leading and
managing the organization's NCP effort.
The NCP Director will interact with the organization's
staff and board, neighborhood residents, businesses
and local nonprofit organizations.
The NCP Director will be responsible for stewarding
the community's comprehensive quality-of-life plan,
and implementing all facets of the strategy, reporting
on the plan and leveraging financial and other
resources to implement the plan. This position
reports directly to the organization's Executive Director.
Contact Angela Hurlock via e-mail at
email@example.com, or write to
her at 9108 S. Brandon Avenue, Chicago, iL 60617.
||Click here for more about the NCP director position and Claretian Associates