by Nathaniel Hagemaster
Joining Forces for Affordable Housing provides education resources on affordable housing, homelessness, and related issues. We try to help people stay informed about the need for affordable housing and what can be done. We occasionally post research-based blog posts on the broader scope of homelessness and affordable housing.
by Nathaniel Hagemaster
While it’s common knowledge that black people are highly overrepresented in homeless populations, fewer people know that members of the LGBTQIA community face similar adversity. Research is now showing that the long-held prejudices that keep minorities vulnerable to poverty contribute to homelessness among black and LGBTQIA populations, with a particularly intense impact where those populations overlap.
-- Written by Sue Loellbach
I really don’t like being asked for money. I tend to hang up on phone solicitors and throw away mail asking for donations, and even though I work at Connections for the Homeless, I sometimes cross the street to avoid panhandlers. When I encounter them, while I feel compassion for their need, I also feel irritation, frustration, sometimes fear, and shame. It’s extremely unpleasant.
On August 15, 2022, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) hosted a webinar that explains the Housing First model, as well as the rigid, post-pandemic laws that are being proposed or passed across the country to address homelessness by criminalizing it. In spite of legislation that aimed to humanely get people off the streets during quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, homelessness has been increasing over the past two years and there has been backlash against proposals to keep in place the 2020 solutions to prevent homelessness and house the homeless.
Joining Forces has been researching how the anchor institutions in other communities (those that employ the most residents and contribute the most to their local economies) participate in addressing the shortage of affordable housing. In Evanston, those anchor institutions are Northwestern University and the two hospitals. Joining Forces has completed a study of Northwestern University's role in the shortage of affordable housing and in what peer universities are doing in their communities to solve the problem. We are working on a similar study around the hospitals.
The following observations are based on the research provided to the Housing Sub-Committee of the Planning & Development Committee by City of Evanston staff, as well as on the discussions the committee has had on the topic of rental registration versus licensing. When we refer to “other municipalities” below, we are referring to those municipalities researched by City staff.
Two Main Issues to Be Addressed:
I attended Housing Action Illinois' annual conference, called "Housing Matters" on October 24 and 25. It was excellent, and I recommend everyone interested in housing issues in Illinois watch for this next year and head to Bloomington in October.
Here's a link to descriptions of the sessions from the conference, that includes links to the PowerPoints that were presented.