News from the Chicago Rehab Network
30 years of Community Empowerment and Development without Displacement February/March 2011

In this issue

Federal Legislative Updates

Notice of Public Hearings: Chicago LIHTC and other Federal Programs

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel Names Transition Team

HUD's New Guidelines eases Multifamily access to Weatherization Funds

Census 2010 Population Figures Reinforce CRN Findings

CRN's Analysis of the Fourth Quarter Housing Progress

NSP 3 Plan Released

Maria Saldana Named Bureau of Economic Development Chief

Save The Date! Moving Community Development Solutions Forward

Network NewsMakers

Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!

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Federal Legislative Updates

The most important Federal programs that build community and support housing creation are being threatened by massive cuts in the federal appropriations bill. On March 2, President Barack Obama signed into law H.J. Res.44, a short-term continuing resolution which extends government spending authority through March 18, while negotiations on a long-term budget continue. The continuing resolution currently keeps HUD's funding at level. Last month, For more information, see a summary from National Low-Income Housing Coalition and a budget summary from Enterprise Community.

What is at stake in this federal budget stalemate are billions of dollars in cuts to Community Development Block Grants, HOME dollars, grants for elderly and disable housing, rental assistance programs, and the Public Housing Capital Fund, and more. This has a significant impact on the ability of local governments to create and preserve affordable housing.

In 2010 alone, the City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development invested more than $150 million to assist in the construction or rehabilitation of more than 3,000 housing units in Chicago leveraged through programs that are funded by CDBG, HOME and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Just last year, CRN members opened several affordable housing developments that have already made a significant improvement to their communities. The Resurrection Project's Casa Maravilla and Casa Morelos (photo above), Lawndale Christian Development Corporation's MLK Apartments, and Bickerdike Redevelopment's Rosa Parks Apartments are just a few of the kind of investment in communities that are made possible through federal resources.

The significant weakening of these critical resources for neighborhood development, especially during a time when far too many Chicagoans are in increasingly tenuous financial positions, would undermine the City's capacity to provide safe, decent affordable housing to those who need it most.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to oppose these cuts to crucial housing and economic development programs. To find your representative go to, www.congress.org.

Obama Administration Releases Report on GSE Reform

The Obama Administration recently released Reforming America's Housing Finance Market: A Report to Congress, a report that addresses the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and outlines its recommendations. Download the report here.

  • Notice of Public Hearings: Chicago LIHTC and other Federal Programs
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit
    The City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development is making available for public comment a draft of its 2011 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Allocation Plan. Copies of the draft plan are available by calling 312-744-0892 or by visiting the City of Chicago DHED website.

    A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in conference room 1003A, 121 N. LaSalle Street. To allow all interested individuals a reasonable opportunity to express their views, each person is to limit his/her oral remarks to a period of no longer than five minutes. If you are unable to attend this hearing, you may direct written comments to Tracy Sanchez, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 1006, Chicago, Illinois, 60602. Written comments should be received by Monday, March 28, 2011.

    2012 Action Plan and 2010 CAPER
    The City of Chicago Office of Management and Budget is also seeking public comments on the City's 2012 Action Plan and the 2010 Comprehensive Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). Both cover the following HUD programs: CDBG, HOME Investment Partnership, Emergency Shelter Grants, and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA).

    The hearing will be held on March 17th, 2011 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington, Chicago, IL at the Millennium Room, 5th Floor. Registration begins at 5:30 pm.

    Written Comments on the CAPER will be accepted through March 29th, 2011. Written comments on the 2012 Action Plan will be accepted through April 18th, 2011. Address correspondence to the Office of Budget and Management, City Hall Room 604, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60602, Attention: Darlene Watkins. Visit www.cityofchicago.org/budget for more information or contact Gerry Berman at 312-744-9745.

  • Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel Names Transition Team
  • Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel and the recently elected Aldermen. oURnext Mayor recently announced his transition team. The list of members can be found here, including leaders who will be working on Economic Development and Planning for the next administration.

    The race, however, is not yet over for fourteen wards which are headed towards the April 5th runoff. These are: 6th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 36th, 38th, 41st, 43rd, 44th, 46th, and 50th.

    More information:

  • HUD's New Guidelines eases Multifamily access to Weatherization Funds
  • HUD's new guidance updates a rule on income eligibility verification for the Weatherization Assistance Program. The new provision allows owners of HUD-assisted properties to self-certify income eligibility and therefore allows for an expedited certification process. In effect, the update makes Weatherization dollars more accessible for multifamily properties. Download the updated guidance.

  • Census 2010 Population Figures Reinforce CRN Findings
  • Chicago2009PopLoss

    U.S. Census population figures released last month revealed a startling loss of Chicago's population of about 200,000 people, with most of that loss within the African American population. CRN's Toolkit revealed this trend in population and race in the Building Our Future Chicago toolkit.

    Using the 2009 American Community Survey estimates, population figures show that community areas with the highest populations of African Americans, including Englewood, Woodlawn, Chatham, Austin and Garfield Park--all of which show double digit percent decreases in population.

    For more housing data, community facts sheets, or to learn more about the Toolkit, visit Building Our Future Chicago.

  • CRN's Analysis of the Fourth Quarter Housing Progress
  • CRN presented its analysis of the Department of Housing and economic Development's Fourth Quarter Housing Production Report on February 17th. Key findings and recommendations include:

    • The Department reports that at the end of the 2010, it has committed a total of $364 million and assisted almost 8,700 units. The City reached 89 percent of the year's resource allocation goal and 91 percent of the year's unit production goal.
    • In 2010, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program provided an investment of almost $150 million to create more that 2,500 rental housing units. The Tax Credit program activities received a much-needed boost from the enhancements authorized under the Recovery Act. The Tax Credit Assistance Program and Section 1602 Exchange has helped reinvigorate many shovel-ready developments stalled by the recession.
    • The most recent progress on NSP according to ChicagoNSP.org shows 24 units in 16 properties have been completed and 3 units have been sold or leased. The progress of NSP thus far highlights concerns about the impact of the tight lending environment on the ability to find homebuyers.
    • The Department approved four Multifamily Projects this quarter. Multifamily units assisted in 2010 total 1,634 units-337 of which, or 21 percent, are three-bedroom units or more.
    • The City has released its plan for the $16 million in NSP 3 grant. The Plan is available on our website and at www.ChicagoNSP.org

    Download the Full Analysis Here

  • NSP 3 Plan Released
  • The City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development released its plans to use the additional $16 million it received from the third round of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The NSP 3 Plan will target Areas of Greatest Need located in five Community Areas: Belmont Cragin, Chatham, East Garfield Park, North Lawndale, and West Pullman.

    Read CRN's Summary and Comments on the Plan

  • Maria Saldana Named Bureau of Economic Development Chief
  • Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle named Maria Saldana as the head of the new Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, a consolidation of the former Bureau of Community Development, the Department of Capital Planning and Policy, the Department of Building and Zoning and the President's Office of Employment Training.

    The new Bureau will combine the community development, job training and building and zoning functions of the County to create more efficiency and coordination. We look forward to working with this new agency and Director Saldana.

    More information: Cook County Blog

  • Save The Date! Moving Community Development Solutions Forward
  • 2010 collage

    CRN will address community development solutions at its next Membership Meeting on April 6th. Location to be announced. More details soon.

  • Network NewsMakers
    • The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards were held on February 8th and we congratulate Heartland Housing, winner of the Polk Brothers Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award for their work at Hollywood House. Learn more about the project to preserve Hollywood House.
    • Lawndale Christian Development Corporation is hosting Celebrating The Dream Gala on April 3, 2011. Martin Luther King III is scheduled to keynote the event. Please RSVP by emailing kwilliams@lcdc.net or call 773.762.8889 ext. 22
    • Genesis Housing Development Corporation will hold a Money Management Workshop on March 24th. Learn more by visiting their website.
    • The Chicago Community Loan Fund's Project Readiness Workshop is on March 29th. Learn more about CCLF's upcoming trainings here or visit www.cclfchicago.org.
    • The Delta Institute is holding a Free Deconstruction Training for qualified contractors. Deconstruction is the systematic disassembly of a structure to maximize reuse and recycling. The next two-week session is March 28th - April 6th. Learn more about Delta Institute's Deconstruction Training and about Deconstruction & Reuse.

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  • The Chicago Rehab Network is the oldest and largest coalition of non-profit community developers and practitioners in the Midwest.

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