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Special Addition - 2014 Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing

On behalf of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, I want to thank Governor Pat Quinn, our co-host, the Illinois Housing Council and all of our speakers, partners, sponsors and attendees for joining us at the 2014 Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing.

Almost 800 industry leaders came together to share best practices and explore creative solutions to drive the Illinois housing market forward. 

Please enjoy this special edition of our newsletter where we share a few highlights from the conference.
Mary Kenney Signature  
Mary R. Kenney
Executive Director
Governor Quinn Promotes Welcome Home Illinois Program for First-Time Homeowners
Governor Pat Quinn kicked off the conference on Tuesday, April 22 with an address to the state's housing industry leaders, discussing his commitment to affordable homeownership and his new Welcome Home Illinois program for first-time homebuyers.


The governor noted that Illinois has come a long way since the economy crashed and first-time homebuyers have played a critical role in driving the state's economy forward.
He also pointed out that the largest investment most people make, including himself, is buying a home, and the down-payment assistance available through IHDA's mortgage programs offers significant advantages.
Please see the Welcome Home Illinois website and the news release for more details.
2014 Jon Linfield Award Recipient - Western Illinois Regional Council's (WIRC) Homeowner Rehabilitation Program
The WIRC's Homeowners Rehabilitation Program assists homeowners to make necessary but costly repairs to their homes, making homeownership affordable and helping rural communities maintain the integrity of their housing stock in underserved areas.
2014 Wyvetter H. Younge Award Recipient - Nehemiah Homes
Nehemiah Homes is a multi-phased development of 80 homes in Springfield's Eastside neighborhood, an area severely damaged by neglect, foreclosure and a devastating tornado in 2006. The development is the vision of Pastor Silas Johnson of the Calvary Baptist Church who has worked for 15 years to bring affordable housing and services to the community.
2014 Gale Cincotta Award Recipient - Grove Apartments
Built by the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation of Chicago to replace lost affordable housing after a local YMCA closed, the Grove Apartments creates a valuable link between housing, transportation and employment by allowing residents to reside in a diverse community where they work but cannot afford to live.
Housing Counselor of the Year - Patricia Venziano, Will County Center for Community Concerns
Patricia uses her mortgage expertise and case management skills to prevent her clients from going into foreclosure while making homeownership possible for those who are ready to buy. She is also an experienced navigator of IHDA's Predatory Lending, Hardest Hit Fund and Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network programs.
Counseling Agency of the Year - Northwest Side Housing Center
The Northwest Side Housing Center has been a vital part of the community they serve for 11 years and remains the only fully tri-lingual organization serving the northwest side of Chicago. In 2014, 83 percent of families that received foreclosure prevention counseling with Northwest Side Housing Center saved their home from foreclosure.
Mortgage Lender of the Year - Wintrust Mortgage, Busey Bank & First Integrity Bank
Wintrust Mortgage, Busey Bank and First Integrity Bank tied for first place as IHDA's Lender of the Year, together accounting for 27 percent of IHDA's single-family pipeline. All three were instrumental in helping IHDA turn in a record year of $317 million in home loans in 2013.
Loan Officer of the Year - Jason Accola, Wintrust Mortgage
Jason is a specialist in first-time homebuyer programs throughout Illinois and is a repeat winner as IHDA's top loan officer. He has more than a decade of lending experience and provides families with opportunities that are rarely available in today's marketplace.
Legislator of the Year - Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins
Senator Collins played a key role in addressing predatory lending practices and high foreclosure rates in Illinois through legislation that protects both homebuyers and homeowners with subprime mortgages. As the housing expert in the Illinois Senate, she ensured residents would continue to benefit from federally funded foreclosure counseling and assistance programs. 
Keynote Addresses
Author and Vanity Fair Contributor Bethany McLean delivered the opening day keynote, captivating the audience with a presentation on the collapse of Enron, the future of Fannie and Freddie and what it means for the housing industry. Her investigative coverage of the lending industry helped to understand not only what led to the housing crisis, but also how current business practices can better address the challenges we face today.
Senior Vice President at Purpose Built Communities Carol Naughton delivered the Luncheon Keynote, sharing experience and insight on successful models of community revitalization that help families break the cycle of poverty. An expert in public/private partnerships, Carol provided a unique perspective on alliances that create truly sustainable communities.
Thanks to our Sponsors
IHDA and IHC would like to offer our gratitude to U.S. Bank for sponsoring the reception, Chase and J.P. Morgan for sponsoring the breakfast and IHC Annual Meeting, Enterprise and Bellwether Enterprise for sponsoring the luncheon and BMO Harris for sponsoring the coffee breaks at this year's conference. In addition, thank you to the rest of our Gold and Silver sponsors who made the 2014 Illinois Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing possible. We could not have done it without you.