The State of Illinois Passed It's First Capital Budget in TEN YEARS!
United Power for Action and Justice (UPAJ) took the lead joined by Lake County United (LCU), DuPage United (DU) and the Fox River Valley Initiative (FRVI) to fight for inclusion of substantial money for affordable housing.
The highlights of State Capital Budget:
- $200 million allocation for the creation of affordable housing throughout the state – which will be competitively allocated to proposed developments by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).
- The dollars can be used to end homelessness, to provide housing for families, seniors or individuals with physical or mental disabilities or to reclaim more communities.
- United Power for Action and Justice succeeded in pressing for 2 "shovel- ready" projects:
- $12 million allocation for Southwest Organizing Project to acquire and renovate vacant buildings. This means that Reclaiming Southwest Chicago effort can go from 35 homes to 135 homes this year.
- $3 million for North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council and United Power to begin the Reclaiming Lawndale Initiative. The initial investment will begin specifically with the resurrection of Lazarus Apartments—reclaiming 2 key vacant corner buildings that will provide 50 affordable homes and an initiative to restore traditional greystone homes throughout the community.
Since March, dozens of leaders from Lake County United, DU, UPAJ and FRVI led focused, relational, in-district actions with key legislative leaders in the State Senate and House including: House Majority Leader Greg Harris, Senate President John Cullerton, Capital Budget Committee Chairman Luis Arroyo and in Lake County: Sen. Morrison, Sen. McConchie, Sen. Link, Sen. Bush's Staff, Rep. Edly-Allen, Rep. Didech and Rep. Morgan. In each meeting, we shared the economic benefits of affordable housing and examples of successes in Lake County and the region.
A team from UPAJ and DU traveled to Springfield to join a press conference with the Illinois Housing Council, met with a key member of Governor Pritzker's staff, and follow-up with Senate President Cullerton, Senator Mattie Hunter, Senator Don Harmon and Majority Leader Harris to present three proposed areas of focus.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Thank your representative that signed on to the resolution in support of funding in the capital budget for affordable housing. Representatives:
- Rita Mayfield
- Dan Didech
- Bob Morgan
- Mary Edly-Allen
The following links includes list of co-sponsors and contact info:
2) Build community support for housing as we identify new sites across Lake County by hosting a session on "Housing for Stronger Communities" to address fears, concerns, myths and benefits of affordable housing in Lake County. For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org