HUD Training A Success
The Chicago Rehab Network hosted a special one
day training session Oct. 30 to provide HUD owners
and managers with an overview of critical information
for the administration of project-based Section 8
properties. The sessions included coverage of recent
revisions to the HUD Handbook 4350.3, Occupancy
Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing
Programs, which became effective Sept. 24, 2007.
Illinois owners, property supervisors and site staff
responsible for implementing these updated
requirements were invited to attend the session. CRN
also provided an overview of the Illinois Preservation
Act, detailing how the act shapes the rights of HUD
tenants and how engaged tenants are crucial for to
preserving housing. The training, which drew over
300 people was held at the Hyatt McCormick Place.
The agenda for the day included presentations from
Edward Hinsberger, director of HUD's Chicago
Multifamily Hub (above photo) ; a training on
occupancy requirements by Curt Hayes, of
Compliance Solution, and a session on the Illinois
housing preservation law was led by the Illinois
Housing Development Authority and a session on
working successfully with HUD tenants was
conducted by the Chicago Rehab Network. Julia
Stasch, of the MacArthur Foundation, provided an
effective overview of the Preservation Compact.
"We believe it is possible for owners, managers and
tenants to work together to create the conditions
necessary for decent places to live and a thriving
housing business," said Rachel Johnston, Chicago
Rehab Network director of operations. The training is
designed to help managers and owners understand
new federal guidelines for tenant occupancy and
tenant participation in organizing. A presentation
devoted to Illinois' housing preservation law, which
gives tenants the right to buy properties that opt-out of
subsidized programs, generated a lot of interest.
Without active tenant participation it is virtually
impossible to preserve affordable housing. We
estimate that 9,000 units of 12,400 units could be lost
by 2010, in Chicago alone, unless federally restricted
mortgages and contracts are renewed. These
federally subsidized apartments are not linked to
individual housing vouchers, but are kept affordable by
the contracts between owners and the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Ms. Stasch talked to trainees about the Preservation
Compact, a Cook County-based initiative that aims to
protect 75,000 units of affordable housing by 2010.
She stressed the need for effective partnerships and
innovative ideas to meet the Compact's goals.
Click here for more information about the Preservation Compact
Tis the season to be jolly .... and for
Please accept my apologies, but a draft version of
e-newsletter was automatically sent out by mistake
yesterday. This is the revised edition. Please delete
the previous version. Again, my apologies, Richard
|HOT STUFF: Learning About TIFs
The Chicago Rehab Network recently held its first
training on using Tax Increment Financing for
affordable housing. The Nov. 30 training was hosted
by National City Bank and led by instructor Bob Kunze,
a former deputy commissioner of development
support services for the city of Chicago's Department
of Planning and Development.
Mr. Kunze, who was responsible for the department's
financial programs for economic redevelopment,
including the Tax Increment Finance program, drew
on his wide breadth of knowledge and practical
experience to take participants beyond the theory and
walk them through the realities of using TIF for
affordable housing in Chicago. Over 30 organizations
were represented at the session.
Participants were welcomed to the training by
Assistant Vice President of Community Reinvestment
Matt Hickey and CRA Officer Cassandra Slade of
National City. Following a brief introduction by
Heartland Alliance's Andy Geer, Kunze launched into
presenting the basics of TIF to a packed house
affordable housing developers, as well as select staff
from the Chicago Department of Housing Developer
Services Program. The training covered topics such
as TIF eligible costs in affordable projects, creating
new TIFs, the approval process for TIF-supported
affordable projects, reimbursement options, and city
(and developer) considerations in determining TIF
amounts. Participants keen on voicing their concerns
found Mr. Kunze more than accommodating in
responding to questions. Dialogue between
participants and the instructor was constant.
Evaluations of the training materials, facilities and
instructor were overwhelmingly positive. Among the
most beneficial aspects of the training as listed by
participants included frank discussions about
timelines, whom to contact, information about what
kinds of projects are eligible for TIF funds, and the
opportunity to hear colleagues questions and
Furthermore, participants were pleased with the
highly-detailed overview of the entire TIF process, from
creating a district to closing the project. Based on the
comments of those who attended, CRN will likely offer
a refresher course next year, with variations on the
"We look forward to providing continued assistance in
this important area. Thanks to Matt Hickey and
Cassandra Slade of National City for being such
gracious hosts and to Bob Kunze for helping make
this a success," said CRN executive director Kevin
|Save Lathrop Homes: CRN Comments on CHA Plan for Transformation
Comments on the CHA Plan for Transformation were
recently forwarded to the agency by the Chicago
Rehab Network. The CRN's analysis and
recommendations focused on the need to preserve
the Julia C. Lathrop Homes. It is the last standing
family public housing site on the north side.
Lathrop Homes is well situated to become an
example of mixed income community, given its
location in a rapidly gentrifying area. The complex sits
in a area that is near shopping, jobs, transportation
and does not face the challenge of isolation that was
used to justify the destruction of other public housing
complexes. For a copy of CRN's comments, call
312-663-3936, or visit our website.
|3rd Quarter DOH Analysis Available
An analysis of city Department of Housing progress
for the third quarters has been compiled by the
Chicago Rehab Network. The documents discusses
projects, policy and spending by the city agency
related to affordable housing.
The 3rd Quarter Progress Report 2007 was released
Dec. 4 and includes references to the 2008 city budget
and concerns raised by rising foreclosures, the
slowing housing market, overall economic downturn,
affordable housing supports.
CRN argued again that home ownership is not for
everyone and that a healthy rental housing stock
remains vital for maintaining stable communities. The
leadership and partnership that resulted in the Nov.
19 groundbreaking of the West Humboldt Park
Homes, a project to be developed under the New
Homes for Chicago program, was lauded. CRN
trainings that focus on maximizing existing programs
towards the creation of affordable housing were also
mentioned. A recent training focused on the use of TIF
for affordable housing. The analysis also addressed
Department of Housing preservation efforts and new
unit production through September 2007.
Commitments for the Illinois Affordable Housing tax
credits of the Donations Tax Credits were also
discussed and summaries of six projects approved
for this quarter.
Click here to check out CRN's 3rd Quarter DOH
|'We Need the People Who Need Affordable Housing'
With the sub-prime mortgage mess, rising rental and
homeownership costs, and economic woes, the
argument for affordable housing has never made
more sense. The Housing
remains an important part of our work to educate the
public about affordable housing and to advocate for
sound housing policy. Drop by our website
reminders about the importance of our work and to
see the work CRN continues to do to push for decent
and affordable housing for
everyone through Housing
||See why we need the people who need affordable housing ...
The Chicago Rehab Network wanted to offer its
condolences to the family, friends and all who knew
and worked with John Pritscher and John
Lukehart who passed away this year. As
president and CEO of
the Community investment Corp., Pritscher was a
passionate advocate for the preservation of affordable
housing in the city of Chicago. Lukehart was
instrumental in forming the Housing Roundtable as
part of his work at the Leadership Council for
Metropolitan Open Communities. Their work and
sacrifice will not be forgotten and continues to help
make life better for others.
May this season bring you joy, happiness and safe
entrance into the New Year. We value your support
and look forward to doing great things in 2008.