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

In this issue

Federal Legislative Updates

Alderman Toni Preckwinkle to deliver keynote address at Empowerment Series Graduation

FY 2011 City Budget to be Released Tomorrow

CRN's Analysis of the Second Quarter Report

CRN participates in meetings on Fair Housing, HUD TRA programs, and Bed Bug mitigation

A Picture of Chicago Foreclosures: June 2010

Mercy Portfolio Services Releases New RFPs for NSP2

Stay tuned for New 2010 Housing Fact Sheets

CRN awarded CHDO TA Grant

CRN in the News

Network NewsMakers

Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!

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Federal Legislative Updates

The Community Reinvestment Act modernization bill was introduced last week by Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez. The bill would greatly increase investment towards low and moderate income communities and would ensure that accountability measures under CRA are stronger. (See CRN's August 12 Testimony on CRA Modernization)

Thirty-three years ago today, the Community Reinvestment Act was passed, but much has changed in the financial services industry since then. The bill, the American Community Investment Act of 2010 or HR 6334, would expand the scope of the Community Reinvestment Act to be more applicable with current times and would include non-banking financial institutions, mortgage lenders, investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies. In addition, the bill would strengthen CRA's examination and evaluation procedures which measure how well banks respond to local credit needs.

Please call or email your Representatives and let them know you support stronger and investment in your communities. (Go to Congress.org .org to find your Representative)

Condo Conversion Task Force Releases Report, Ordinance Passes

Last month, the City's Condo Conversion Task Force released its recommendations and findings to help protect consumers during the conversion process. An ordinance also passed City Council which would implement the Task Force's recommendations. The recommendations primarily addressed post-conversion issues related to the rights of displaced tenants and purchasers. However, it does not address policies which weigh the impact and benefits of the conversion itself on neighborhoods.

Before the brunt of the foreclosure crisis hit, we called on the City to address the loss of rental housing due to condominium conversions by instituting policies that evaluate the community impacts of converting rental housing. Public and aldermanic reviews should be put in place in order provide a vehicle to determine whether or not conversion of rental housing adversely impacts affordability in a community, and whether the local housing market can support homeownership.

Read the report here:Condo Conversion Task Force Findings

  • Alderman Toni Preckwinkle to deliver keynote address at Empowerment Series Graduation
  • HDTI Invite

    Congratulations to our recent graduates of the Community Development and Empowerment Series Workshops! We will be honoring them at a celebration today at Harris Bank. We are honored to have 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, a long-standing advocate for affordable housing and community development, as our keynote speaker.

    The annual Community Development and Empowerment Series is in its 15th year. Participants learn technical development skills, strategies for community empowerment and reinvestment, and property management. Those who completed the entire 16-day training program-over a hundred hours of study-will receive certificates of completion. This year's Series is presented by Harris Bank.

  • FY 2011 City Budget to be Released Tomorrow
  • Mayor Daley will unveil the FY 2011 Final Budget tomorrow at 10:00 am at a Special Meeting of the City Council. With the City facing a $700 million budget deficit, CRN testified at the Preliminary Budget Hearings in August (see CRN Press Release calling for increased support for neighborhoods) underscoring the key principles that housing is a driving force in creating a vibrant economy; and that a robust and sustainable housing market is one that must be fundamentally tied to affordability.

    Our preliminary budget recommendations included the following:

    • Last year, the City established a Property Tax Relief Fund using $35 million from proceeds generated by the Parking Meter Lease. Through records we obtained via FOIA, , only $1,907,750, or 5 percent, has been drawn down. We recommend that the balance of these funds--a total of $33,092,250-be reallocated towards those community-based organizations partnering with the city to provide essential services to Chicagoans.. We believe that these unallocated funds will help these community agencies to continue providing critical services for the neediest and prevent further deterioration of the community fabric.
    • We understand that the City must consider all possible revenue sources at this time and we would support a temporary use of TIF surplus funds to help balance the budget. However, the purpose of TIF is to provide funds for capital projects that would revitalize communities. Using the TIF to cover the city's operational deficit is a short term fix and unsustainable. The City should ensure that Tax Increment Financing funds are used for economic development for communities with the greatest need.
    • We would support a proposed reorganization of the Department of Community Development to include the Zoning Department as away to prioritize affordable housing in the City's planning, land use and development policies. A favorable result of this consolidation is better coordination of all neighborhood development across all pertinent city functions. In addition, Zoning has provided critical tools to leverage the creation of affordable housing in the private market through programs like the Downtown Density Bonus and Affordable Requirements Ordinance.

    For the Full Preliminary Budget Comments, click HERE.

  • CRN's Analysis of the Second Quarter Report
  • Last month, CRN presented its analysis of the City's Second Quarter Housing production. Our findings and recommendations include the following:

    • Multifamily units show a boost in production this quarter mainly due to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit activity, including the Tax Credit Assistance and Section 1602 Exchange Programs authorized under the Recovery Act.
    • The Department reports that at the end of the second quarter (June 2010), the City has committed 74 percent of its NSP1 grant. According to the latest HUD report, as of August 31st, the City has committed $54,073,786 or 98 percent of its NSP1 grant. $1,164,231 must be committed by the end of this month.
    • The City of Chicago has been awarded additional NSP funding and more may be on the way. The availability of new NSP funding would create a new opportunity to re-evaluate the needs of many Chicago communities. We recommend that properties that fall into the amended definitions of "foreclosed" and "abandoned" are reconsidered for these new rounds of NSP funding

    Download the full analysis HERE

  • CRN participates in meetings on Fair Housing, HUD TRA programs, and Bed Bug mitigation
  • Here is a sample of what we have been working on:

    • Kevin Jackson was part of a panel discussion on "Discrimination in the Private Market" at John Marshall Law School's conference on Fair Housing/Fair Lending: New Developments in American and International Law on October 1-2.
    • CRN participated in two policy discussions on the impact of HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance program on our region: one hosted by the Preservation Compact and one at the HUD regional office. At both sessions, Barbara Sard of the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities and Erika Poethig, Deputy Assistant Secretary on Policy at HUD, provided an overview of the key products and challenges of implementing TRA and what the program means for our region.
    • CRN was also part of a roundtable discussion with HUD to assess the impacts and to work out solutions to property and asset management issues related to bed bug mitigation in assisted housing.
    • CRN presented testimony at a public hearing on the Community Reinvestment Act on August 12th at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • A Picture of Chicago Foreclosures: June 2010
  • A report on foreclosure activity in the month of June is now available.

    In June 2010, there were 1,763 newly filed foreclosures and 1,896 completed foreclosures in the City of Chicago. Download A Picture of Chicago Foreclosures - June 2010

  • Mercy Portfolio Services Releases New RFPs for NSP2
  • Mercy Portfolio Services is now accepting proposals for various real estate services for NSP2, including appraisers, asset managers, etc. The RFPs are available by visiting ChicagoNSP.org

  • Stay tuned for New 2010 Housing Fact Sheets
  • The U.S. Census just released new American Community Survey data. Please stay tuned for updated CRN Housing Fact Sheets!

    In the meantime, you can download housing units, housing cost burden, and housing costs data by community areas clusters HERE.

  • CRN awarded CHDO TA Grant
  • CRN is pleased to announce that we recently received a grant from HUD to further support our training and technical assistance programs. This grant assistance will fund valuable training such as the Community Development and Empowerment Series, which help bring capacity building opportunities to community development and affordable housing practitioners throughout the State.

  • CRN in the News
  • Fioretti wants law limiting rogue developers
    Chicago Journal, October 7, 2010

    Foreclosure continues to hurt West Side
    Austin Talks, September 21, 2010

  • Network NewsMakers
  • Upcoming Events:

    • We welcome Joy Aruguete and Pat Abrams as CRN's new Board President and Vice-President who are taking the place of departing Board members, Andy Geer and Steven McCullough. We thank Andy and Steven for their leadership and service on CRN's Board!
    • Celebrate with Heartland Alliance at the 70th Anniversary of the Candlelight Ball on October 23rd. Visit www.heartlandalliance.org for more information
    • The Resurrection Project recently celebrated the Grand Opening of Casa Maravilla, a new senior housing development. The Resurrection Project is also celebrating their 20th Anniversary on October 21st. Visit www.resurrectionproject.org.
    • The Latin United Community Housing Association is hosting a several Homebuyers Education Workshops in the coming months. See their website for more information.

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

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