Public Announcements

 

Using Digital Tech And Payments To Solve The Affordable Housing Crisis

Access to affordable housing is hard to find in the U.S. According to research from Harvard University, in 2016, nearly half of renters were cost-burdened — or spending more than 30 percent of their annual incomes on rent and utilities. In 1960, that figure was at 20 percent. According to National Low Income Housing Coalition findings, the share of American renters in any U.S. county working full-time (40 hours per week) in a minimum wage job who can “afford a two-bedroom rental home” without being cost-burdened is effectively 0 percent.

While affordable units and properties do exist, even in major metropolitan areas, they can be astonishingly difficult to access, Haven Connect Founder Caroline Caselli told PYMNTS in a recent conversation. Nearly all affordable housing stock has a waiting list attached, and those waits can be incredibly long. The average wait time is around two years, but they are known to stretch to five, seven and even 10 years at time.

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New Illinois Laws for 2020

From Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, LLC

NEW ILLINOIS LAWS FOR 2020

With the arrival of January 1, 2020, Illinois instituted 256 new laws.  These new laws cover a variety of topics such as: agriculture, animals, budget, business, children and family, trusts, consumers, criminal, traffic, cybersecurity, education, environment, gaming, housing, insurance, labor, government, wages, health care, Immigration, seniors, transportation and veterans. Summaries of all of the laws may be reviewed at the Illinois.gov website for Senate Republicans.

The following discusses some of those laws.  A citation, for the Public Act (PA), Senate Bill (SB) and House Bill (HB), is also given in case you are interested in reviewing the bill in its entirety:

ANIMALS

FIRE ALARM SYSTEM IN KENNELS (PA 101-210, HB 3390):  A kennel operator shall install a fire alarm monitoring system that triggers notification to local emergency responders when activated. Shelters with 24/7 staff are not included in the requirement. Licensure can be denied based upon failure to comply.

RABIES VACCINES FOR CATS (PA 101-0299): Requires cats that are four months or older to receive rabies inoculation, and a subsequent inoculation within a year of the first inoculation. Feral cats are generally excluded.

SERVICE ANIMAL DOCUMENTATION FOR HOUSING (PA 101-0518, HB 3671): Allows landlords to request reliable documentation that establishes the need for the assistance of a service animal, when allowing a service animal on the premises when pets are generally prohibited by policy.

BUSINESS

PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF HOME-BASED BUSINESS OWNERS (PA 101-475, HB 2528):   Victims of stalking and petitioners for an order of protection, who operate a home-based business under an assumed name, at their personal residence, may list the address of their local county clerk as the default agent for service of process, if specific conditions are met.

 

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Duckworth, Durbin, Booker Introduce Bill To Enhance Public Housing Oversight And Transparency, Improve Conditions For Residents

Washington, DC -(Effingham Radio)- Today, as part of her ongoing efforts to prevent future housing crises like what happened in Cairo, Illinois, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced legislation to improve public housing oversight and transparency by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The bill, the Averting Crises in Housing Assistance (ACHA) Act, seeks to address the national backlog of needed repairs in public housing facilities by investing $70 billion in the Public Housing Capital Fund and improve public housing outcomes for residents.

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Rep. Davis announces $1.5M grant for Champaign County

Rep. Rodney Davis will announce a $1.5 million grant for the Champaign County Housing Authority on Monday.

The grant will establish a new YouthBuild program to prepare young people between ages 16-24 for the workforce.

The program will teach skills and provide knowledge to be successful in the current economy.

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Combined housing authorities to be rebranded

DANVILLE – It was and will continue to be a transformative time for Housing Authority of the City of Danville and Vermilion County Housing Authority, which have merged into one organization.

Six buildings came down at the Fair Oaks public housing complex last year with the hopes of making the area safer and more manageable.

Demolition of Ramey Court in Georgetown is expected this year because it would take more money to bring the property up to code than to tear down. The demolition application will be resubmitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after Jan. 1. It will involve the relocation of families in 26 units in 13 buildings.

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In federal court, former ACHA director James Wilson agrees to pay $500,000 he owes the government

CAIRO — Former Alexander County Housing Authority Director James Wilson has consented to the entry of a civil judgment filed against him in federal court. Once approved by a judge, he will be required to pay the $500,000 he owes, plus interest and $350 in court costs, according to court records filed Monday.

In November, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Wilson seeking to collect the money he agreed to pay the U.S. Treasury to settle a federal administrative fraud claim.

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‘It’s very concerning’; Congressman Jim McGovern joins lawmakers calling for radon testing in public housing

Four more U.S. senators and a congressman this week joined the drumbeat of federal lawmakers calling for radon protections in public housing following a yearlong investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

“It’s very concerning,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, said of the newsroom’s investigation during an interview Friday. “Radon is a serious issue that ought to be given the attention it deserves.”

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HUD spends millions on lead abatement. Why are public housing authorities still struggling?

WASHINGTON — Many public housing residents are facing lead-related dangers in their homes, mostly from lead-based paint and pipes, but also in the surrounding soil and in the playgrounds where children play.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 62,000 public housing units around the country need lead abatement. And, according to the National Housing Law Project, over 90,000 children in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program have lead poisoning and an additional 340,000 children living in federally subsidized housing are at risk.

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New Laws And Taxes In 2020: Recreational Marijuana, Minimum Wage Increase, And More For Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) — Recreational use of marijuana will be legal for anyone 21 or older in Illinois; the minimum wage will go up across the state; taxes will go up on parking, restaurants, vehicle trade-ins, and more; and drivers will face stiffer penalties for passing stopped school buses or for failing to move over for emergency vehicles.

Those are just some of the new state and local laws going into effect in the new year.

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As legal cannabis goes into effect, proponents of medical cannabis, social equity have concerns

On paper, Jose Gonzalez seems unlikely to be hesitant about legalizing recreational cannabis in Illinois. 

As executive director of Educated Alternative — an Oak Lawn-based nonprofit that provides assistance to people seeking medical cannabis — Gonzalez has no problem with the drug. He’s used it for most of his life. But with anticipated cannabis shortages and local regulations not yet entirely decided, Gonzalez said he’s concerned the sudden uptick in recreational use will leave patients in Illinois’ existing medical cannabis program behind. 

“We’re putting a lot of importance on the recreational program, which doesn’t serve the patients of Illinois well,” Gonzalez said. “The state put way too fast a deadline on sales, not allowing cultivation facilities and dispensaries to properly ramp up.” 

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Illinois housing authority residents unable to light up in 2020 once pot’s legal

MOLINE, Illinois – The legalization of marijuana in Illinois in 2020 is putting federally funded public housing authorities in a bind.  Currently, it’s against federal and state law to smoke cannabis. But even though marijuana will be legal in the state Jan. 1, people living in local public housing may not be able to light up.

Right now, at Spring Valley public housing complex, a place for low income residents, people can’t smoke cigarettes inside a unit and must smoke outside 25 feet away.  But come Jan. 1, even though marijuana will be legal in Illinois, anyone who lives in public housing won’t be able to smoke the drug inside or out.

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Freeport Housing Authority plans to relocate residents, demolish buildings

FREEPORT (WREX) — After record flooding last spring, the east side of the city of Freeport is now considered a federal disaster area and the Freeport Housing Authority (FHA) has plans for the buildings it owns on the floodway.

FHA owns 18 buildings with 71 units that house hundreds of residents on the city’s east side. But reoccurring flooding has taken its toll on the community, and as a result, residents in the program will soon be looking for a new home.

13 WREX spoke to man named Darieon, who lived in one of the properties FHA plans to demolish. Darieon didn’t want to give his last name, but he did have concerns about FHA’s plan.

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Kendall County Housing Authority gets $290,000 grant for residential disability vouchers

YORKVILLE – Kendall County housing officials announced a grant that could help provide affordable housing for non-elderly disabled people living in the county.

Matt Prochaska, chairman for the Kendall County Housing Authority, said the county recently received a $290,445 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. He said the grant is meant to provide assistance for the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program and the money will be enough to cover housing vouchers for 25 people within the program.

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Macoupin Housing Services cuts ribbons

Representatives from Macoupin Housing Services (MHS) and the Macoupin County Housing Authority (MCHA) cut the ribbons on three tax credit housing developments in the county at ceremonies held Sept. 23.

Home tours were available to area residents and local dignitaries at the 14 homes built in Staunton, nine in Bunker Hill and 15 in Gillespie. The homes were built through a low-income housing tax credit created under the 1986 Tax Reform Act. It gives incentives for the use of private equity in the development of affordable housing aimed at low-income Americans. The program is administered at the state level through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which receives a fixed allocation of credits based on population.

The homes have to meet strict requirements with regard to construction standards and energy efficiency.

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