While CRS can celebrate some terrific victories, including advancing the Illinois Sealing Bill (HB 5723) out of the House Judiciary II Committee and unfreezing the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, that provides $15 million for the development of affordable housing, one important issue of our Platform for Renewal still needs to be accomplished. The budget that the legislature sent to Gov. Pat Quinn still leaves $16 million untouched in the Rental Housing Support Program Fund (RHSPF), to be swept to pay other bills rather than to expand the number of low-income families, people with disabilities and people on fixed incomes who can receive rental assistance. With more than 14,000 families homeless and thousands of families housing insecure, it is morally unconscionable to try to balance our state budget by stealing rent money from the people who need it the most.
Call Governor Pat Quinn at (312) 814-2121 and tell him:
"As a person of faith and member of the Community Renewal Society, I do not believe that we should balance our state budget by withholding rental assistance from the people who need it most. Please meet with Community Renewal Society, Access Living, and Housing Action Illinois immediately to discuss expanding access to the Rental Housing Support Program Fund."
The Rental Housing Support Program (RHSP) promotes permanent housing through the funding of subsidies that reduce the cost of renting for rent-burdened low-income households. Eligible households under the RHSP are those with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income, with half the funds targeted to assist households at or below 15 percent of area median income. Resources will also be partially targeted to support the state’s efforts to prevent unnecessary institutionalization and to create housing for households with a family member with special needs. The RHSP gives preference to applicant local administering agencies that target up to 30 percent of proposed units for special needs households, which are defined as “Households that are: homeless or imminently at risk of becoming homeless; that are or imminently at risk of living in institutional settings because of the unavailability of suitable housing; or that have one or more members with disabilities, including but not limited to physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental illness or HIV/AIDS.”
For more information contact Kristin Holm at (312) 673-3844 or kholm [at] communityrenewalsociety [dot] org