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Elgin
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:14pm
Tue May 3, 2016

Illinois Budget Impasse 'Destroying' State's Mental Health Services, Providers Say

As the state budget impasse enters its eleventh month, Progress Illinois examines how mental health services and providers have been impacted.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:10pm
Fri Jan 22, 2016

Election Preview: Democratic Primary Race Heats Up In 8th Congressional District

Progress Illinois talks with the two leading candidates running in the 8th congressional district's Democratic primary race.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:48pm
Wed Nov 4, 2015

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58pm
Thu Jun 25, 2015

U.S. Homeownership Rate Keeps Falling, While Tally Of Cost-Burdened Renters Hits Record High

The national homeownership rate continued its downward trend in 2014 as the share of U.S. renter households reached its highest level in 20 years, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A record number of U.S. renters are also facing housing cost burdens, the new research showed.

For the 10th straight year, the national homeownership rate dropped in 2014, falling to 64.5 percent. The rate ticked down to an even lower 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The number of U.S. owner-occupied households fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2014, dropping by 233,000.

"Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation's housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year," the Joint Center for Housing Studies's Managing Director Chris Herbert said in a statement. "This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:45pm
Fri Nov 21, 2014

School Custodians Rally For Higher Wages, Paid Sick Leave (VIDEO)

Low-wage school custodians from Elgin, Wheaton, Rockford and other areas picketed outside of the Illinois Association of School Boards conference in Chicago Friday morning, demanding paid holiday and sick days.

Chanting "Hey, District U46. Your low wages make us sick," the custodians, hired by school district contractors and represented by SEIU* Local 1, also called for better pay and health benefits.

"We want to show (school board officials) that we're not happy with what they pay to our custodians," Carolina Villalobos, an SEIU Local 1 organizer, said outside of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, where the conference was held.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:08pm
Tue Aug 12, 2014

Report: High Housing Costs Persist For Millions Of Americans, Renters Hit The Worst

The U.S. housing industry saw some progress in 2013 due in part to increased housing construction as well as rising home prices and sales, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Despite areas of improvement, however, the report found that homeownership rates are still trending downward, low-income households face persistent challenges finding affordable housing and millions of Americans continue to grapple with high housing costs.