We provide direct services to people experiencing homelessness and imminent risk of homelessness; however, we also support government, nonprofit, and other institutions as they work to create structural change in the housing market. The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is a state government agency that finances the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Illinois, and they’ve just reached a milestone with the release of their Housing Blueprint 2021.
Why is IHDA Important?
Illinois, like the rest of the country, faces a severe affordable housing shortage. Only 39 affordable housing units exist for every 100 extremely low-income households in the state. Sixty-eight percent of these households spend more than half their income on rent, which leaves them at severe risk of homelessness. Crises like reduced work hours, job losses, accidents, illnesses, and/or changes in household makeup can send them spiraling into homelessness, from where regaining affordable housing becomes difficult.
What is IHDA’s Housing Blueprint?
The Housing Blueprint 2021 contains the first results from IHDA’s planning process to “create a vision for the future of housing in Illinois and establish a plan to achieving it.” IHDA’s planning accounts for socioeconomic diversity among Illinois communities and seeks input from individuals, agencies, and organizations throughout the state. The Blueprint especially focuses on “marginalized communities and residents who are typically excluded from such planning endeavors.” So far, it has conducted a statewide resident survey and listening tours to begin getting resident and community input
What are the Key Elements of the Blueprint?
The Housing Blueprint outlines IHDA’s current strategies and programs for creating and preserving affordable housing. These include:
- Multifamily Investments: including tax credits, mortgages, bond financing, and debt administration for housing developers creating affordable multifamily housing units. IHDA also maintains a portfolio of more than 1300 multifamily properties throughout the state.
- Single family investments: including homeowner assistance, repair and modification assistance, emergency relief, foreclosure prevention programs.
- Community development: including blight reduction, community planning, technical assistance programs.
Through the Blueprint process, IHDA will determine how to adjust these strategies and create innovative programs to meet communities’ needs.
Does IHDA Directly Support BEDS?
Definitely. We jointly provide 10 scattered site Permanent Supportive Housing units for people with histories of chronic homelessness. We’re excited to see where IHDA’s Housing Blueprint takes them, and we look forward to continuing our partnership.