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

In this issue

Federal Legislative Updates

Chicago Housing Authority to open the Family Housing Wait List

Chicago Housing Authority Receivership Ends

Donations Tax Credit Extension Awaits Governor's Signature

Recent Reports

Empowerment Series

Let us know what matters to you!

Network NewsMakers

Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!

Follow us on Facebook


Federal Legislative Updates

CRN has been meeting with legislators in Washington D.C. in the past two consecutive weeks to keep affordable housing on the agenda.

National Housing Trust Fund

Today, the House narrowly passed a bill that would provide $1 billion to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund. The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act [H.R. 4213], or the tax extender bill, is a joint effort by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. (
See Alert from National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

The next challenge is to have the Senate take up the bill upon their return from the Memorial Day recess on June 7th.

Please contact Senators Durbin and Burris and let them know how important the National Housing Trust Fund is to ending and preventing homelessness and to preserving and expanding affordable rental housing in your community.

Chicago Rehab Network signed on to the National Housing Trust Fund campaign letter urging legislators to immediately fund NHTF. To add your organizations and to view the letter, visit www.nhtf.org.

HUD PETRA Proposal

On May 12th, HUD released its proposed new initiative to preserve HUD-funded public and assisted housing and enhance its rental assistance programs. The Preservation, Enhancement, and Transformation of Rental Assistance Act of 2010 (PETRA) would preserve public and assisted housing by allowing owners to convert to a new project-based contract or project-based voucher. The National Council of State Housing Agencies includes more details including a section-by-section analysis here.

Visit HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance information page.

Wall Street Reform Act passes Senate

The Senate passed its version of the Wall Street reform bill on May 20th setting the stage for establishing a financial system that protects consumers. The Restoring American Financial Stability Act creates a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a new regulatory body that could write rules to hold banks accountable, protect consumers from predatory and fraudulent practices in the financial industry, and increase transparency in the financial system.

The next step is for the Senate to negotiate with members of the House and work towards a final bill. For more information on the status and passage of the bill, visit Open Congress.

  • Chicago Housing Authority to open the Family Housing Wait List
  • For the first time in a decade, the CHA will open the Family Housing Wait List.

    Names in the Wait List will be drawn randomly from a lottery. To be eligible for the lottery, participants must register online for free anytime between June 14, 2010 and July 9, 2010. All registrations received during this four-week period will have an equal chance to be entered into the lottery.

    Community groups and organizations--especially those who are able to provide computer access to the public--are encouraged to participate in this endeavor to help Chicago families apply for the lottery since registration can only be done online.

    Visit CHAwaitlist.org for more information.

  • Chicago Housing Authority Receivership Ends
  • For 23 years, the CHA had been under a court-ordered receivership with The Habitat Company after a federal decision which found that the CHA failed to comply with a consent decree stemming from the landmark Gautreaux housing discrimination case. The consent decree mandated that the siting of new public housing should extend beyond low-income African-American communities. The ruling in 1987 appointed The Habitat Company to oversee CHA's development of over 4,000 units of scattered site housing.

    Last week, the same judge who ordered the receivership determined that CHA had achieved substantial progress to improve the conditions that called for the court order. Beginning June 1, 2010, all acquisition, development and redevelopment of public housing in Chicago will revert back to the Chicago Housing Authority. The transition will occur over a three-year period.

  • Donations Tax Credit Extension Awaits Governor's Signature
  • Last month a bill to extend the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit, or as it is more commonly known, the Donations Tax Credit, passed both State houses and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Quinn. The Chicago Rehab Network was instrumental in establishing the tax credit as a key tool for neighborhood development. The Donations Tax Credit has been a valuable tool to finance the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing throughout the State.

    The bill would extend this vital resource to December 31, 2016.

  • Recent Reports
  • Lawyer's Committee on Better Housing Releases Report on Apartment Foreclosures

    Approximately 3,000-4,000 more rental units were affected by foreclosures than owner-occupied housing in 2009, according a new report by Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing. The study, Chicago Apartment Building Foreclosures: Impact on Tenants, also finds that on average, about 125 multifamily buildings entered foreclosure weekly in Chicago.

    The full report is available by visiting www.lcbh.org.

    When Investors Buy Up the Neighborhood

    PolicyLink, in partnership with the Northwest Area Foundation and Family Housing Fund, examined the issue of predatory investment and foreclosures in the Twin Cities. The report, When Investors Buy Up the Neighborhood: Strategies to Prevent Investor Ownership from Causing Neighborhood Decline, illustrates dozens of strategies which communities can use" to reclaim foreclosed properties, encourage positive reinvestment, and stabilize their neighborhoods."

    The full report can be downloaded by visiting www.policylink.org.

  • Empowerment Series
  • We are halfway through the 2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series. The following workshops are remaining and registration is still open:

    • Single Family Housing Development, June 17-18
    • Multifamily Housing Development, July 15-16
    • Project and Construction Management, August 12-13
    • Property/Asset Management/ Tenant Services, September 16-17

    For more information about the Series, visit http://www.chicagorehab.org/capacity/index.htm or contact Gené Moreno at gene@chicagorehab.org.

  • Let us know what matters to you!
  • One of CRN's priorities this year is to advance our communications by using the valuable input of our members and audience. In the past few weeks, we are near completion of the first phase of our survey project, seeking input from City of Chicago Aldermen, in order to better respond to our policymakers and elected officials on affordable housing issues and community needs.

    Soon, we will need your support in assessing our communications activities. Critical to our work is our ability to push the message of affordability and inform you of key issues affecting your communities. We want to know how we are doing in providing you with information and where we can do better.

    Stay tuned for a Stakeholder Communications Survey from CRN. Your feedback is essential and will help shape our communication priorities and understanding of what housing issues matter to you.

  • Network NewsMakers
  • CRN in the News

    Debating the Future of Lathrop Homes
    Deal Estate, April 21,2010

    The Future of Lathrop Homes
    Eight Forty-Eight, April 21,2010

    CHA to reopen wait list for public housing
    Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2010

    With programs and other aid, foreclosures continue to rise
    Chicago Defender, May 12, 2010

    Upcoming Events:

    • Woodstock Institute and the Illinois Community Investment Coalition will hold an event, Beyond Foreclosures: The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Wealth Gap and Economic Opportunity, on June 3rd at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. To register, contact Beverly Berryhill at 312-368-0310 or bhill@woodstockinst.org.
    • Community Media Workshop's annual conference, Making Media Connections, will be held on June 9-10. For more information and registration, visit www.newstips.org.

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  • 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.

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    Kevin Jackson kevin@chicagorehab.org
    Chicago Rehab Network http://www.chicagorehab.org

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