Housing

Illinois is starting to award grants to renters to help them catch up on late payments. But the need far outpaces the funding available and more than 50,000 applicants won't get help.

When the COVID shutdown hit, lots of people lost jobs and couldn’t pay their rent. States and cities responded by putting a moratorium on evictions, but those are ending. Housing advocates are now bracing for a flood of evictions — and a public health problem.

Illinois will launch a new rental assistance program that could help approximately 30,000 tenants struggling to keep a roof over their heads, according to the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is giving more time to those behind on rent or mortgage payments.  He’s extending a ban on evictions through August 22.  A moratorium was set to expire at the end of this month. 

Updated Aug. 21 to reflect eviction moratorium extension

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will extend the state’s ban on evictions for another 30 days, his office said Friday.

The new moratorium will now expire on Sept. 19 instead of Saturday.

The current ban protects people who’ve fallen behind on their rent payments because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Landlords can still evict tenants if they pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or violate a building code health ordinance or other regulations.

Pritzker Deciding Whether To Halt Evictions Again

Jul 16, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker says he is considering extending a moratorium on evictions beyond the end of July.  During a stop in Rockford, Thursday, Pritzker was asked if he planned to renew the order when it expires at the end of the month.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing assistance to the Jackson County Housing Authority in a fourth wave of CARES Act funding.

Those in the real estate industry were hoping for a competitive and prosperous housing market during the spring season, but the rapid spread of COVID-19 put a pause on their plans. One broker offered advice to the industry on what it should be doing through the pandemic.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about a potenial incentive program for the city's Arbor District.

Immigrants to Illinois are now able to sue their landlords if they are evicted because of their citizenship status.


In one town in the Metro East, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, police are forcing landlords to evict tenants who have called for help during an overdose because they have heroin or other controlled substances in their rental property.

Affordable-housing advocates are joining the chorus calling on Illinois lawmakers to approve an infrastructure plan.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Amy Dion of the Neighborhood Coop and Patty Mullen of Good Samaritan Ministries about the 2019 "Feed Your Neighbor" 5K.

Melissa Esparza fled her home in west suburban Chicago two years ago. Then 16, she said her parents became physically violent after years of verbal abuse.

 

Affordable housing issues often get media attention when property prices soar due to spiking economic development or when property prices tumble due to dramatic industry decline, but that narrative is incomplete.

Struggling for Housing

Mar 29, 2019
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

In the course of reporting my previous story on the gap between wages and the cost of housing, I spent time following a case manager with the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless.

During that time, I met several people who shared their stories of how they struggled to find housing and how the coalition has helped them.

Every person who is homeless has their own story. But the two below are examples of common reasons for homelessness -- living on a fixed income and finding housing after being released from prison.

Donna: Living on Disability

In Illinois, there are only 35 affordable housing units for every 100 families considered extremely low-income, according to Housing Action Illinois, a housing advocacy organization.

Housing Choice Voucher, also known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to make market-rate apartments accessible to people who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. The voucher program covers part of the rent for around 97,000 families in Illinois.

In response to a call for questions on affordable housing, one Illinois Newsroom listener asked: “How does Section 8 work? It seems like a great program in theory that also seems really hard for families to access in practice.”

For Low Wage Workers Housing is Out of Reach

Mar 19, 2019

An estimated 10,643 people in Illinois are homeless according to federal data. Many of those are working - but still can’t make ends meet.

For the Stephens family, it all began with a landlord who refused to make repairs to their rental home.

“Our roof was a joke,” Jenny Stephens said. “Our roof had a big old huge hole in it, gaping hole. And when it snowed, we had snow in our kitchen.”

Many communities in Illinois have rules that say renters can lose their housing if someone in the home is connected to a crime. City leaders who back the policies say the rules make neighborhoods safer. But fair housing advocates question the tactics.

 

The Quad Cities are divided by the Mississippi River along the Illinois-Iowa border. They all took a big hit during the 1980’s farm crisis, and were left with abandoned warehouses and other buildings.

Last summer, Chantil was forced to leave the townhome she shared with her two daughters and her mother in Des Plaines. (We’re withholding Chantil’s last name to protect her family’s privacy.) Her landlord wanted to sell the building, and Chantil had only about a month to find a new home. Landlords, however, kept turning her down because of her credit, and her income. Chantil makes $12 an hour at a department store.

Saying the state is the midst of an affordable housing crisis, one lawmaker has introduced legislation that aims to boost low-cost rental units by offering a tax credit.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Juan Carlos Linares, the Director of Latin United Community Housing Association, about his 2018 Hiram H. Lesar Distinguished Lecture.

Senator Durbin Visits Cairo Public Housing

Aug 7, 2018
Senator Dick Durbin holds meeting with public housing residents.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Senator Dick Durbin met with residents of Cairo public housing on Tuesday, August 7th to discuss the future of the community.

Plans include demolishing two unused complexes as soon as the last residents depart, then clearing the space for future development. HUD authorities will also be doing deferred maintenance on occupied units and working to improve conditions for residents. 

SIUC

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Associate Director for Housing Operations Jim Hunsaker about the closing of "The Towers" residence halls, and what can be expected for the Fall of 2019.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday awarded a record two billion dollars to support thousands of homeless housing and service programs.

The state of Illinois will receive 109-million dollars to support over 400 homeless housing and service programs.

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Sen. Durbin's office

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin visited the Marion VA Medical Center Tuesday to look into potential issues with patient safety and care.

There is an ongoing investigation at the facility related to mismanagement and retaliation against whistleblowers.

Housing
Brad Palmer, WSIU

Illinois' two U-S Senators want the Trump Administration to do more to address the housing crisis in Cairo.

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Rep. Bost's office

Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost met Thursday with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to discuss the ongoing housing crisis in Cairo.

A new study finds minimum wage fails to pay the rent in Illinois.  

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