Current single-family program rates as low as 3.625 percent. See
Homeownership for more info.
IHDA Loan Officer of the Month
IHDA's Homeownership Department recognizes Grant Bellis, Senior Loan Officer with Mortgage Services, Inc. in Bloomington as its "Loan Officer of the Month."  With more than 5,000 real estate transactions and 27 years of lending experience, Grant can find the program that fits his clients' unique financial situation. And with the help of IHDA's affordable loan programs, he helped 68 families access nearly $600,000 in down payment assistance in 2014. Thanks, Grant!
IHDA Upcoming Dates

March 27
5 p.m.

March 27
5 p.m.

April 1 - 2
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Upper Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601
In Memory

It is with incredible sadness that we announce that Eric Von Battles, Sr., our colleague and good friend, passed away on January 26.

Eric joined IHDA in 2007, bringing not only his knowledge, but his composure, humor and good nature that made any challenge seem small. He was an inspiration to everyone he met and we cannot thank him enough for his friendship. It was a privilege to know him, and he will be missed.
Nominations are Now Open for the 2015 Illinois Housing Champion and Housing Counselor of the Year Awards
Nomination forms are now available for the 2015 Illinois Housing Champion Awards and Housing Counselor of the Year at

Nominate an outstanding development, program, initiative or counselor from 2014 or 2015 that addressed one of the key focus areas of Illinois' housing plan for the chance to be honored at a special awards ceremony on April 1, 2014. More information on the categories and criteria are available at All nominations are due by the close of business on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Visit to register for the conference today!
Low-Income Borrowers Did Not Cause the Housing Crisis
IHDA Financial News
Amid criticism of the Obama administration's recent efforts to make mortgages more accessible to creditworthy families, a new study found that that it was unsustainable lending practices, not loans to low-income borrowers, that contributed most significantly to the increase in defaults after 2007.

The authors write that the majority of mortgaged dollars originated between 2002 and 2006 were obtained by middle and high-income borrowers, many of whom were overleveraged due to pre-crash home price expectations. The problem was not relaxed standards for low-income borrowers, but rather that such a large fraction of higher-income borrowers bought into high prices while taking on unsustainable household debt.

Affordable housing is often used as a scapegoat for the housing crisis, but the numbers do not support that claim. IHDA has been lending to working families who need down payment assistance for more than 30 years with a default rate of less than two percent. Responsible lending is the key to the recovery, and IHDA is a resource for lenders to help creditworthy households safely break into the market.

See the study and IHDA's Homeownership Page for more information.
49,000 Illinois Homeowners Could Still Benefit from HARP Refinancing
IHDA Program News
While the outlook for the housing market is bright for 2015, there are still thousands of underwater homeowners in Illinois who could benefit from the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) before it closes on December 31, 2015.

HARP was introduced in 2009 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of the Treasury specifically for homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but have been unable to qualify for a traditional refinance because of decreased property value. Over 212,000 Illinois homeowners have refinanced their mortgages through the program, but there are still more than 49,000 borrowers that are eligible. By refinancing through the program, these borrowers could save an average of $200 each month.

Even homeowners who applied for HARP refinancing before and were declined should look into it again. The program was expanded in 2011, making more people eligible to participate. Borrowers should visit and contact their servicer to get started today. They can also visit to search for a housing counselor in their zip code.
Lower FHA Insurance Premiums Increase the Purchasing Power of First-Time Homebuyers
IHDA Financial News
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reduced its annual mortgage insurance premiums from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent on January 26, an action that will make mortgages more affordable and accessible for first-time homebuyers.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that this change will increase the amount of house the typical renter could afford by as much as $11,000, opening up new opportunities for homeownership as first-time buyers are expected to re-emerge in the new year. These younger buyers will continue to face tight lending conditions in 2015, but with IHDA's down payment assistance, lower credit score requirements and tax benefits, lenders and Realtors can take advantage of this boost in purchasing power to bring a substantially larger number of young buyers to the market.

See the JCHS blog and visit IHDA's Homeownership page for more information.
Multifamily Property Owners Should Appeal Assessed Property Value in 2015
IHDA Financial News
The Cook County Assessor's Office will reassess all properties in the City of Chicago throughout 2015, establishing the taxable value of city real estate for the next three years. 

Notices of assessed value will be mailed to property owners as township assessments are completed, starting in mid-February with Rogers Park township properties. All affordable multifamily rental property owners, whether they are reassessed in 2015 or not, can appeal their property's assessed value during a 30 day window. Properties that offer rents lower than the market rate, receive government subsidies or experienced consistent vacancies can receive significant reductions in assessed valuation.

Visit to find the appeals deadlines for your township and the Preservation Compact for information on the appeals process.
Successes, Challenges and the Role of the LIHTC in Chicago
IHDA Program News
The LIHTC program is the primary driver of affordable housing production in the City of Chicago, playing a critical role in IHDA's strategy to support a vibrant housing market that contributes to the city's economic and social health.

The February 2015 edition of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits features a focus on the demographics and demand for affordable housing in Chicago, including current market conditions, barriers to entry and incentives in IHDA's QAP that encourage developments in areas of opportunity. 

Read Novogradac's Focus on Chicago on IHDA's Multifamily Developer page.
Your Feedback is Important - Look Out For Our Website Redesign Survey
Help us make our website easier for you to use! IHDA will be conducting a short, anonymous survey to improve our website later this month. We want our site to be as user friendly and informative as possible, and your input will help ensure that the new site is functional and easy to use.

For more information or to provide additional comments, please contact
IHDA Wins First-Ever Bowling Tournament Over Multifamily Developers
IHDA Awards & Recognition
Congratulations to the IHDA Homers on their victory in the inaugural IHDA vs. Developers Bowling Tournament on January 16.

After consecutive victories in the annual softball game, the Homers brought their success to the lanes at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago. Thanks to all who came out to bowl and support the teams. Better luck next year, Developers!
Developers, Remember to Include IHDA When Planning Your Groundbreakings and Grand Openings
Every new development provides a valuable platform to reach out to the communities we serve and showcase the work we do. Not only are these events important milestones, but they help to establish new partnerships that lead to more support for new developments in the future.

Please contact Max Mueller in IHDA's Marketing & Communications Department when you start planning for your next event. He will help identify the best dates, times, speakers and media opportunities that make these events a success. 
We look forward to hearing from you!