Housing & Transportation Policy Analyst
Access Living friends and allies:
We’d like to take this opportunity to pass along the following opportunity for action on the Illinois state budget, focused on housing problems during Covid-19. Here is today’s quick link to an email tool to contact your Illinois legislators about housing.
From our colleagues at Housing Action Illinois: As our elected representatives re-convene in Springfield this week to address important issues related to the budget and COVID-19 response, we know that they will need to keep a narrow focus on the impacts that the virus has had on public health and economic activity. Projected shortfalls in revenue will force difficult budgetary decisions, and the emergency Federal financial resources becoming available will be very important in ensuring that the services and supports our community relies on for safety at this time, especially affordable housing, continue to be available to some extent. With that in mind, please consider this call to action:
“When the General Assembly re-convenes on May 20 to work on the state budget and other issues, part of the budget work will be appropriating the State of Illinois’ portion of the Coronavirus Relief Fund. [This is] CARES Act funding that provides dollars to state and local governments that can only be used to pay for new COVID-19-related expenses from March 1 to December 30.”
Housing Action Illinois and others have been in communication with the governor’s office and state legislators in support of using Coronavirus Relief Funds for housing. Rep. Delia Ramirez has been in communication with other legislators about supporting this, too.
COVID-19 and Economic Recovery Emergency Renter and Homeowner Protection Act: In addition, Access Living and dozens of other community organizations and agencies support Illinois State Representative Delia Ramirez’s bill protecting renters and homeowners from evictions and foreclosures due to the economic impact of COVID-19. This bill, House Amendment 1 to HB 5574, is known as the COVID-19 and Economic Recovery Emergency Renter and Homeowner Protection Act. In the Senate, it is sponsored by our ally, Illinois State Senator Robert Peters. See more about the bill at this fact sheet.
Please reach out to your State Representative and Senator with the message that you support the maximum funding possible from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to IHDA for housing assistance, and that you support HB 5574 HA 1 so that people can stay housed during this crisis and its fallout. You can use this easy email tool to contact your state legislators (use this tool ONLY if you live in Illinois). *IHDA means the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Distributing money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund is already on the agenda for the General Assembly, and it is hoped that HB 5574 will be on this week’s agenda as well. Making sure that those funds are used for housing, and keeping people safely housed who are already, is vitally important at a time when the virus is especially dangerous to people with disabilities who are homeless and/or in congregate settings such as nursing homes, jails/prisons, and other institutions. Please contact your State legislators today.
Housing and Transportation Policy Analyst