Chicago, IL —IFF, nonprofit lender and real estate consultant, announced today that it received $4 million from Chase to increase funding for Home First Illinois, a joint effort by IFF and Access Living to develop permanently affordable and accessible housing for persons with disabilities. The $4 million award from Chase will build on a $15 million commitment from the State of Illinois, and operational support of $125 thousand from the Chicago Community Trust, bringing total funds for the initiative to just over $19 million.
Chase presents check to IFF for Home First Illinois Program
“We believe that providing appropriate and affordable housing within our communities for those facing the challenges of permanent disabilities is the right thing to do socially and economically,” said Glenn Tilton, Chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase. “Home First Illinois is an excellent example of the private and public sectors coming together as partners with creative, sustainable solutions to important issues facing our communities.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Chase for stepping up to support this very important initiative and address a critical need in our communities,” said Joe Neri, CEO of IFF. “The disability community has fought long and hard for the right to choose where they live and receive services. With the generous contribution from Chase and commitment from the State of Illinois, we can finally begin to make that choice a reality.”
In Illinois, a disproportionate number of low–income, disabled persons are living in state funded and private institutions because they lack community support services and have no community based affordable, accessible housing alternative – which the courts have found to be inconsistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and is more costly to the state than providing accessible and affordable housing options in a community setting. “This is also an economically smart, win–win situation for everyone—the program gives people with disabilities a gateway to independence and it strengthens communities by reviving distressed properties,” added Joe Neri.
To address this issue, IFF and Access Living, the nationally recognized disability rights organization, with support from the State of Illinois and Chase, and operational funding from the Chicago Community Trust, have developed Home First Illinois. Under this initiative, IFF will develop, own and manage accessible homes—integrated within the community—that will remain permanently affordable to very low–income, disabled persons who require accessible housing and who rely on Social Security SSI payments as their primary source of income. Working with Access Living, IFF will initially identify, as potential residents, physically disabled individuals who are moving from nursing homes and other institutions, and who chose to live in the Chicago Metro region. Moving forward the program will be expanded to include other communities across Illinois.
“For people with disabilities who are trapped in segregated institutions, finding affordable, accessible and integrated housing has historically been the most significant obstacle to living independently,” said Marca Bristo, President and CEO of Access Living. “As a result of this partnership with IFF, Chase, and the State of Illinois, hundreds of people with disabilities will have the option to live in, participate in, and contribute to integrated communities.”
Over the next four to five years Home First Illinois will develop nearly 100 accessible and affordable homes, providing permanent, integrated and affordable housing to an estimated 145 persons. The initiative is being launched today with a $4 million grant from Chase and a commitment of $15 million from the State of Illinois.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 5,300 bank branches, 16,200 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.
IFF is a nonprofit lender and real estate consultant dedicated to strengthening nonprofits and the communities they serve. It helps nonprofits plan, finance, and build facilities that are critical to their mission and success. Founded in 1988, IFF has total assets of $220 million and serves nonprofits working with low–income communities and special needs populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. To learn more about IFF, visit www.iff.org.
About Access Living
Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables people with disabilities in Chicago to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights, and champions social reform. To learn more about Access Living, visit www.accessliving.org