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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Nov 4

Report: Most Waitlists For Housing Choice Vouchers Closed In Illinois

As demand for federal housing vouchers intensifies in Illinois, residents in need of affordable rental housing are encountering mostly closed waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program across the state, a new report shows.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families and is administered locally by public housing authorities (PHAs).

Of the 71 PHAs with active Housing Choice Voucher programs in Illinois, 51, or 72 percent, have closed voucher waitlists, according to the report from Housing Action Illinois and the Social IMPACT Research Center.

"This means that people in need of affordable rental housing in most every part of Illinois do not have the opportunity to even get in line to secure a federally-funded subsidy that would alleviate their poverty and put their household in a better position to thrive," the report authors wrote.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jul 22

U.S. House Budget Bill Seeks Deep Cuts To Education, Labor & Health Programs

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jun 16

As Demands Grow For Federal Rental Assistance, Housing Advocates Oppose Cuts In House Budget Bill

Progress Illinois takes a look at the growing demand for federal rental assistance and why many housing advocates are opposing a controversial appropriations bill approved by the U.S. House last week. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Wed Feb 4

Ethics Group Files Complaint Against Schock Over His Downton Abbey-Inspired Office Decor

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's (R-IL,18) flashy new office decor could land the ab-baring congressman in hot water.

Earlier this week, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote up a piece detailing the pheasant feathers, black candles, chandelier, red walls and gold picture frames and wall sconces that adorn Schock's new office. It turns out that the room's dramatic decor was inspired by Downton Abbey, a fictional, British TV show set in the early 1900s. At least that's the story Terris got from Annie Brahler, the interior decorator who morphed the dreary Capitol Hill office into an eye-catchingly, bold Hollywood knock off of the popular PBS show.     

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Nov 24, 2014

Lame Duck Congress Faces Tight Budget Deadline To Avert Government Shutdown

Federal lawmakers are up against a December 11 deadline to pass spending legislation to avert a government shutdown. Progress Illinois previews what's ahead for Congress in the remaining days of the lame duck session, including a possible budget showdown over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Oct 28, 2014

Election Preview: A Look At The 'Toss-Up' 12th Congressional District Race

Progress Illinois profiles the state's 12th congressional district race, which is considered to be a "toss-up."