CHICAGO, IL (KFVS) - Governor Pat Quinn spoke Wednesday at the annual Illinois Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing where he addressed home ownership opportunities.
According to his office, the Governor also talked about helping working families stay in their homes and stabilizing communities.
"Homeowners are the foundation of thriving neighborhoods that strengthen our state," Governor Quinn said. "Being able to access affordable, safe, quality homes and rentals is important to the stability of our communities and spurs job creation. By working together with our dedicated federal, local and private partners, we will drive our economy forward by creating and sustaining affordable housing across Illinois."
The two-day event at the UIC Forum drew approximately 600 attendees dedicated to ensuring access to safe and decent housing for Illinois' working families, Veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.
According to a news release, the conference featured on affordable housing, including foreclosure prevention, community revitalization, community-based supportive housing to end homelessness and Veterans housing.
Representatives of IHDA, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Department of Corrections participated in the event.
According to the Governor's office, Quinn's leadership on affordable housing includes:
• Creating the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN): A one-stop comprehensive, free resource to connect struggling homeowners to the assistance that will keep them in their homes. This is a multi-agency effort providing trustworthy services and knowledge, as well as financial mortgage assistance of up to $35,000 from the Illinois Hardest Hit program. An estimated 600,000 homeowners have accessed information through the Network's website, www.keepyourhomeillinois.org
• Proclaiming 2013 as the "Year of Home ownership" – including the launch of four new safe and affordable mortgage programs:over the last 18 months. Under the Welcome Home Heroes program, Veterans have accessed over $98 million in financing to purchase 833 units across the state since the program began in December 2011. IHDA's mortgages have lower credit score requirements, provide cash for down payment assistance and require home ownership counseling.
• Implementing a "Rebalancing Initiative" to ensure all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential. Under Governor Quinn's administration, approximately 1,800 community-based supportive housing units have been financed across Illinois. In 2012, 20 percent of the multifamily units, or one in five, that IHDA financed were supportive housing.
• Tripling the number of communities offering the Illinois Building Blocks program, a holistic strategy to address the foreclosure and vacancy issue in targeted communities. Buyers of vacant homes in the following 15 communities can qualify for a fixed-rate 30-year loan and $10,000 in down payment: Belleville, Berwyn, Blue Island, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Maywood, Melrose Park, Park Forest, Peoria and South Holland.
• Targeting capital funding for affordable housing – $130 million in Illinois Jobs Now! – marking the first time this state funding source has been dedicated to housing.
• Signing Senate Bill 16 in February to fast track the foreclosure process for vacant properties. Effective June 1, the bill will allow a foreclosure trial to immediately proceed after a judge certifies that a property is abandoned. This new law significantly reduces the foreclosure process to approximately 90-180 days from what now takes nearly two years.