News from the Chicago Rehab Network
30 years of Community Empowerment and Development without Displacement February 2010

In this issue

Federal Legislative Updates

2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series

CRN's Latest Talking To Walls Production Highlights Lathrop Community

State of Illinois Housing Fact Sheet

A Picture of Chicago Foreclosures: A Year In Review

Participate in the Metro Chicago CDC Census

Network NewsMakers and Events

CRN is now on Facebook and Youtube!

Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!


Federal Legislative Updates

Activity in Washington, DC ground to a halt last week as historic snowstorms forced the House to recess and moved the Senate to operate on a reduced schedule. They are both off this week for a pre-scheduled President's Day break. Here are some updates on key housing legislation:

  • 2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series
  • The 2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series offers comprehensive, value-based training for community development practitioners. If you seek opportunities to learn:

    • State of the art community investment practices
    • Creation of realistic and sustainable development efforts
    • Methods to ensure that development benefits your neighborhood and its residents
    • How to access local, state, and federal resources to support your mission
    The Empowerment Series is for you! Registration is still open for the whole series. The first workshop begins on February 25th with the Community Building workshop. Participants will learn about the basics of community planning from veteran community developers, Joy Aruguete of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Steven McCullough of Bethel New Life, through actual strategies used by community-based organizations.

    Visit http://www.chicagorehab.org/capacity/empowerment.htm for more information and to register.

    The 2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series is presented by Harris Bank.


  • CRN's Latest Talking To Walls Production Highlights Lathrop Community
  • Lathrop Homes is truly a unique community. To demonstrate that uniqueness, CRN produced a short documentary to highlight the people and the place, and to debunk myths about the those who call this place home. Through the voices of residents and community members, Another Way: Reimagining Development at Lathrop Homes brings to focus what is at the forefront of our minds as we develop sound housing policy. We invite you to watch this short video on YouTube by clicking here.

    Given the collapse of the real estate market, the financial crisis, and the rising unemployment rate, it is very clear that our economic recovery needs to be established on multiple fronts while being grounded in affordable housing. At national and local levels, we must preserve and leverage our public assets, ensuring that our investments in our neighborhoods are not lost during this tough financial time. CRN s latest Housing Fact Sheet attested to the alarming reality that 51% of Chicago residents are cost burdened, spending more than a third of their income on housing. Affordable housing is fundamental to success at work and at school, and it is evident that our economic recovery is dependent on the development of appropriately priced housing.

    Our fundamental goal is to work for a housing market that is responsive to demand, and to reinforce the significance of affordable housing. Our recently launched media program, Talking to Walls, will help achieve this end and create more opportunities for all to reflect and be reminded about the importance of affordable housing. So join us. Watch Another Way, share this information, and protect our assets through advocating for a Lathrop Homes that builds on its rich history, embraces its unique community, and serves as a model for affordable and public housing in the 21st century.


  • State of Illinois Housing Fact Sheet
  • CRN has released the 2009 Illinois Housing Fact Sheet using data from the most recent American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Among the findings include:

    • Since 2000, the poverty rate for families in Illinois increased by over 15 percent.
    • The number of renters and owners paying more than $1,000 has dramatically increased. Yet, Illinoisans are not any more affluent: the median household income in Illinois--$56,235--decreased by 6.6 percent since 2000.
    • Owner households increased by over 33 percent, while renter households decreased by 1.5 percent. Half of renters in Illinois spend more than a third of their income on housing. Among mortgaged owners, the rate is almost 40 percent.

  • A Picture of Chicago Foreclosures: A Year In Review
  • The foreclosure problem did not show any signs of slowing down in 2009. CRN's 2009 report on foreclosure activity shows that last year, there were over 20,100 filings reported in Chicago, up from 16,058 in 2008. The filings represent a total of more than $451 million in outstanding mortgages and approximately $52 million in property tax liability. The highest foreclosure rates are in the Southwest and Northwest communities in 2009 (Zipcodes: 60629, 60639, 60634).

    The County's moratorium on accepting new defaults in July and August last year may have artificially lowered the rate of foreclosures for the subsequent months. However, filings began an upward climb again in the month of December.

    This report, as well as the rest of CRN's monthly foreclosure data, can be downloaded by visiting http://www.chicagorehab.org/Foreclosurereports.aspx

  • Participate in the Metro Chicago CDC Census
  • The Chicago Rehab Network's CDC Census is an unprecedented effort to record and detail the impact of Community Development organizations throughout the Chicago Metro area. Fore more information, visit http://www.chicagorehab.org/CDCCensus.aspx.

  • Network NewsMakers and Events
    • The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards were held on February 9th and two of CRN's members were among those recognized for their outstanding work in Chicago's communities. We congratulate The Resurrection Project, winner of the Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy Award for their Pilsen Quality-of-Life Planning Process, and Mercy Housing Lakefront for Malden Arms Apartments, winner of the Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award.
    • The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc. is holding their 16th Annual Friend-Raiser Breakfast on February 26 from 8:00 am - 10:00 am at the Wabash Y Ballroom, 3763 S. Wabash. Contact 773-924-9270 ext. 21 for more information.
    • The Community Media Workshop will celebrate its 21st Anniversary and the life of Studs Terkel at a celebration and awards ceremony on March 10, 2010. For more information, visit www.communitymediaworkshop.org/2010_terkel_awards
    • Bethel New Life will hold The Women's Health and Wealth Summit on February 26, 2010 featuring State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Bethel is also celebrating 30 years with an anniversary gala on April 22, 2010. Visit www.bethelnewlife.org for more information on these events.

    Do you have an event or announcement you would like on Network NewsMakers? Please send them to pia@chicagorehab.org or call CRN at 312-663-3936.

  • CRN is now on Facebook and Youtube!
  • The Chicago Rehab Network has ventured into social media!

    Become a fan of Chicago Rehab Network on Facebook and stay up-to-date with CRN activities and affordable housing news in Chicago!

    Also, visit our YouTube Channel for more Talking to Walls videos and other CRN productions.

  • Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!
  • Keep informed of housing events and news by subscribing to our news feed.

  • 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 Chicago.

    You can support our work by spreading the word about CRN or by making a donation.

    Click Here to Support CRN

    Rachel Johnston rachel@chicagorehab.org
    Chicago Rehab Network http://www.chicagorehab.org

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