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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Advocacy Group Wants Infrastructure Trust Used For Vacant Properties

The Infrastructure Trust ordinance, a plan where private investors will fund public infrastructure, passed City Council over two months ago, but the city has not identified Trust projects, besides an initial plan to retrofit municipal buildings.

So the Chicago advocacy group Action Now, which previously opposed the Trust, unveiled their own detailed proposal yesterday, calling for the Trust and developers to turn vacant city properties into affordable rental homes. Read more »

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
Thu Jun 21, 2012

Housing Market Woes Continue, Legislators Hold Keys To Possible Solutions

Continued stagnation within the U.S housing market has been cited as one of the key factors contributing to a still slow economic recovery. Meanwhile, forecasts for the remainder of the year indicate a rise in foreclosures and sluggish home sales remain. We take a look at some of the causes of the housing market's ongoing problems and discuss a few possible solutions.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Tue Jun 19, 2012

County Board Could Have Votes For Housing Voucher Protection

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia (D-Chicago) introduced at a county board meeting today an amendment to the county’s human rights ordinance that would give legal recourse to people with federal housing vouchers that landlords discriminate against.

The amendment to the 1993 county law (PDF) has seven co-sponsors, meaning at least eight of the 17 commissioners, or one short of a majority, already support the measure, including board president Toni Preckwinkle (D-Chicago). Garcia anticipates the ordinance will pass through committee in two weeks, and then swiftly see a vote by the full board. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jun 11, 2012

State Leaders Join Forces With Local Advocates For Economic Justice

Members of the faith-based power network IIRON signed a covenant on Sunday for economic justice and called on Attorney General Lisa Madigan and other elected officials to sign it in order to create a more just economy.
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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Tue Jun 5, 2012

Not A Misprint: Homeless Services Expanded In New State Budget

Despite the drumbeat of fiscal austerity that lead to other significant social service cuts, the Illinois General Assembly last week actually passed a budget for next year with meaningful increases – yes, increases – in money for key state programs to help the homeless, and those in danger of becoming homeless.

The state did this through taking money from a trust fund reserved for affordable housing. In an ideal world for homeless service providers, money to fund their work would have come from general revenue funds. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 1, 2012

Cash Purchases Of Properties Prevail In High Foreclosure Areas, Long-Term Impact Uncertain

Following the country’s mortgage crisis more people in Cook County are buying homes with cash instead of credit, a new report from the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University finds.

The cash trend is also more prevalent in areas with high foreclosure rates, according to the study, Cash or Credit: The role of cash buyers in Cook County’s housing market , which analyzed residential property sales from 2005 to 2011 in Cook County—one of the nation’s weakest housing markets.

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