Legislative Updates; New Grant Announcements
President Obama signs new law protecting
renters during foreclosure
The new Helping Families Save Their Homes
became effective immediately and will expire in
2012. It includes provisions such as a
90-day pre-eviction notice. Renters also have
the right to remain in their homes according
to lease terms unless the property is sold to
an owner who will occupy the
The City Council has proposed an amendment to
the Vacant Property Ordinance which will
clarify the definition of "owner" of any
property subject to the ordinance. The
amendment also seeks to include in the owner
definition any parties that initiate
foreclosure proceedings such as financial
institutions and any entity in charge of or
have control of the property. This can
include property managers, executors, or
The proposed ordinance text can be found here.
The next meeting of the Committee on Housing
and Real Estate will be on May 28th at 10:00
am in Room 201-A at City Hall.
An proposed ordinance is also moving through
Council to make City Asset Lease
Agreements that are worth more than $10 million
publicly available for review both in written
form and electronically. City Asset leases
include the Chicago Skyway, the proceeds of
which help fund the Chicago Low-Income
Housing Trust Fund, The Downtown Public
Parking System and the more recent lease of
the city's Parking Meter System. With the
large amount of revenue and its share of
controversy generated from the privatization
of the city's services and infrastructure,
making the lease agreements publicly
accessible ensures that these funds are being
used to its intended purposes.
The ordinance text can be found here.
The next Committee on Finance hearing will be
on June 1st at 9:00 am in Council Chambers at
State Legislative Updates
With the General Assembly nearing the end of
its Regular Session, now is a time of a lot
of movement for bills in both houses.
Friday, May 22nd, is the deadline for the
third reading of substantial bills, one of
the final steps before a bill becomes law.
If a bill is approved by the second house it
is then return to its house of origin for
amendment concurrence. Both the Senate and
the House are scheduled to adjourn on May 31st.
Multiple bills related to housing have
already made it through both houses and are
returning to their house of origin to confirm
any amendments that have been added. House
Bill 3863 is one such bill that would require
additional notice for occupants in the case
of foreclosure. Additionally, House Bill
3863 provides for a 30 day period after a
judicial sale for a tenant to remain in the
unit. Text of House Bill 3863 is available
House Bill 2653 works to avoid foreclosures
by amending portions of the Homelessness
Prevention Act to expand forms of assistance.
Currently grants are only available to pay
rent in order to avoid eviction but passage
of the bill would expand grants to include
mortgage payments in arrears for up to three
months. Full text of House Bill 2653 is
House Bill 688 creates guidelines for
identifying and dealing with distressed condo
properties. Criteria for distressed
buildings include the tax delinquencies,
foreclosed units and utility shut off. Once
a building has been declared distressed by
the courts, municipalities will be able to
take steps to bring the building back in line
by placing the building with a receiver who
is empowered to take over the functioning of
the building. Full text of House Bill 688 can
be found here.
As this legislative session comes to its
conclusion, both houses are also working to
develop an operating budget as well as
continuing the effort to finalize a capital
plan, both would surely impact the work of
all community development
corporations and their partners.
New Grants Announced
HUD has issued guidance on the Green Retrofit
Program for Multifamily Housing. Deadline to
apply is June 15, 2009. Details and more
information can be found on Recovery.gov.
The City of Chicago has issued a Request for
Proposal for Community Services Block Grant
(CSBG) funds made available under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Download the RFP here.
The Department of Treasury and HUD announced
a partnership that will help fill the
financing gaps in affordable housing
developments participating in the Low Income
Housing Tax Credit program. Because of the
ailing housing market, the LIHTC program has
been adversely affected with many affordable
housing developments unable to fill
development gaps because of lower tax credit
pricing. The Treasury will provide state
housing credit agencies with grants in
exchange for LIHTC at a flat rate per dollar
credit. Additionally, the Treasury will
provide an additional $2.25 billion in grants
to housing finance agencies for qualified
projects under The Tax Credit Assistance
Program. For more information, see HUD's announcement.
|Bickerdike opens Section 8 waiting list; Thousands apply
From March 31 to April 4 of this year,
Redevelopment Corporation opened
its Section 8 waiting list seeking to gain
qualified applicants. As a result of
practical considerations and immense
community need, the application process was
opened for five days, in marked contrast to
the two-day event in June 2007, the last time
Bickerdike opened its Section 8 waitlist.
The need for affordable housing was clear:
lines were formed well before doors were
opened, with many standing in line for hours
and waiting in shifts. Bickerdike distributed
over 5,000 applications during the five days,
of which over 4,000 were returned.
Carmen Conde, a project manager at
Bickerdike, is the first to admit that the
received response was "even bigger than we
had anticipated" and is a strong indicator of
the growing and continued need for affordable
housing in West Town, Humboldt Park, Logan
Square and Hermosa. The application was
specifically for four properties: West Town
Housing Phase I, West Town Housing Phase II,
Victory Apartments and Humboldt Building, for
a total of 454 units, of which only a
fraction become available annually. For
qualified applicants, there will be a lottery
for these properties. Those who are not
allotted a unit in this round will be placed
on a waitlist for all of Bickerdike's Section
8 properties. Once families are on the list,
the wait time for Bickerdike's Section 8
units can be 3 to 5 years.
CRN staff was present during one of the
lottery days to assist in processing the
large number of applications. When we
arrived, we found a large and diverse array
of folks who had already been entrenched in
the process for two days- several tenants
from other Bickerdike properties, executive
director Joy Aruguete and large part of
Bickerdike's staff. Laughter and sincerity
filled the room as busy hands worked on
processing the more than 4,000 applications
from area individuals and families. Chicago
Rehab Network's new audio and multi-media
project Talking to Walls covered this
event in more depth. Check back at
www.chicagorehab.org for an upcoming feature
on Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation.
Photo: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation
Executive Director and CRN Board Member Joy
Aruguete (left), Bickerdike staff, and tenant
volunteers sort through thousands of
applications for Section 8 housing.
|Chicago Rehab Network Membership Meeting
Chicago Rehab Network members and invited
guests will soon gather for an important
meeting to hear issues impacting the
community development community field today.
Key leaders in government, agencies, and
organizations with important roles in new
programs enacted under the Housing and
Economic Recovery Act and the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be present
to provide information and answer questions
from the community development field at-large.
HUD Community Planning Director,
is invited to speak on the recently announced
second round of the Neighborhood
Stabilization Program, a competitive funding
opportunity open to non-profits. Chris
Raguso, the Acting Commissioner of the new
Department of Community Development will
present on her leadership role in the
department as it takes the lead in addressing
the city affordable housing needs during a
time of economic instability. Also presenting
will be Catherine Godschalk from
Ventures Fund, an innovative organization
with expertise in Lease-To-Own use models, a
critical component in addressing the
Additionally, Robert Wharton of the
and Economic Development Association of Cook
County and Anne Evens from
Neighborhood Technology will address new
weatherization resources coming to Illinois
and John McDermott from Logan Square
Neighborhood Association will provide an
update on their efforts in preserving
affordability at Lathrop Homes.
With a packed agenda, CRN members will
certainly have plenty to learn and take from
the meeting. Members can RSVP by contacting
CRN's membership is comprised of over 40
nonprofit community development organizations
and housing advocates. Visit
www.chicagorehab.org to learn about CRN.
|List your rental units for free with ILHousingSearch.org
The Illinois Housing Development Authority
(IHDA), Illinois Department of Healthcare and
Family Services, Illinois Department of Human
Services, and Illinois Department on Aging
invite property managers, owners, and
landlords to list your properties for FREE on
a new housing resource for the state of
Illinois. This service can be used to
advertise rental properties completely free
of charge. Listings can include pictures and
detailed information about each unit, from
location, rent, and bed/bath amount to
appliances and utilities, neighborhood
amenities, and much more. A toll-free call
center is also available for support.
Go to ILHousingSearch.org
1.877.428.8844 for toll-free assistance.
|CRN invites you to participate in the first Metro Area CDC Census
Community development corporations are
invited to participate in the first sustained
investigation into the struggles, successes,
and prospects of Chicago Metro CDCs. Watch
for an email invitation next week with details on
how to participate.
Contact CRN at 312-663-3936 for more
information or visit our CDC
Census page for future updates on this
exciting new project.
|Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!
We have added a News Links feature to our
website! Keep informed of housing events and
news by subscribing
to our news feed.
Only a few workshops left in this year's
Community Development and Empowerment
Visit our Capacity
Building page for more information on
upcoming workshops and registration.
The 2009 Community Organizing
Awards will be
held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 5:30 pm-7:30
pm at the Chicago Regional Council of
Carpenters, 12 E. Erie, Chicago, IL. The
event is hosted by The Chicago Community
Trust, Wieboldt Foundation and the Woods Fund
of Chicago. RSVP to
The 15th Annual Deborah's Place Gala
Celebration will be on Friday, May
the International Ballroom at the Fairmont
Hotel Chicago. More information and for how
to purchase tickets available here
Access Living will hold its 2009 Gala
at Navy Pier Chicago on June 2nd. This year's
gala will honor Sen. Ted Kennedy and Dr.
Henry Betts. Visit Access Living's website
for more information.
The 16th Annual Celebration of Home and
Garden to benefit Heartland Alliance on
Human Needs & Human Rights will be held on
June 6th. A self-guided tour of homes and
gardens in Southwest Michigan begins at 11:00
(EST). Visit www.homeandgardentour.com to register.
North River Commission's Community
Congress will be held on Wednesday, June
7, 2006 from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm at North Park
University Hamming Hall (Corner of Kedzie
Ave. & Foster Ave). Call (773) 478-0202 to RSVP.
Lakeview Action Coalition will hold the
Walk for LAC June 14th. Visit LAC's
site for more information.
Bethel New Life will hold its Annual
Beth-Anne Place Open House Luncheon on
June 19th. RSVP to Jennifer at 773.287.2711
ext. 6020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Linda Greene and Teresa Prim teaches
participants the essentials of Single Family
|CRN members in the news
The Chicago Tribune recently profiled a new
effort to revitalize the Near West Side. CRN
members, Interfaith Organizing Project
Heartland Housing will co-develop the
Hotel into permanent, supportive housing.
Rev. George Daniels of Interfaith
Project and Andy Geer of Heartland
CRN Board members.
|Help Build The Network!
The Chicago Rehab Network is the oldest and
largest coalition of non-profit community
developers and practitioners in the Midwest.
CRN works to provide a
foundation for new
strategies for effective policy,
communications, training and technical
assistance to support the development and
preservation of affordable housing across
You can support our work by spreading
the word about CRN or by making a donation.
Click Here to Support CRN
|This publication is generously supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Chicago Community Loan Fund