SPRINGFIELD, IL – March 27, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Pat Quinn today addressed the Illinois Association of Realtors Conference in Springfield. March is Affordable Housing Month, and the Governor’s remarks emphasized his administration’s commitment to creating affordable homeownership opportunities and foreclosure assistance programs.
“Creating affordable and secure homeownership programs not only supports our economic recovery, but also keeps our communities vibrant and helps our working families,” Governor Quinn said. “We are committed to assisting families struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments by connecting them with the resources they need.”
Governor Quinn joined realtors and lenders to highlight programs available through the state. In recent months, his administration has introduced new homebuyer programs, a coordinated foreclosure network of resources for homeowners facing foreclosure and a program to return vacant properties to the market in communities hardest hit by foreclosures.
“Governor Quinn understands that housing plays a critical role in moving the economy forward, stabilizing communities and job creation,” IHDA Executive Director Mary Kenney said. “Through these many new initiatives under Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois has become a national model for how to address the foreclosure crisis.”
In December, the Governor launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to make homeownership even more affordable for thousands of military families and create more than 400 jobs throughout Illinois. Administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the program provides qualified Veterans and servicemembers with a forgivable $10,000 grant for down-payment and closing cost assistance; an affordable interest rate on a secure 30-year fixed rate mortgage; and a mortgage credit certificate worth up to approximately $20,000 for the life of the loan.
In February, the Governor announced the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) to connect struggling homeowners with all available assistance, resources and knowledge to help them keep their homes. The IFPN provides access to counseling services, legal advice, mortgage payment assistance programs, foreclosure prevention events and tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud. The IFPN’s resources are available 24-hours a day online at KeepYourHomeIllinois.org, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the IFPN’s free hotline 1-855-KEEP-411 (1-855-533-7411).
In addition to online and telephone support, the IFPN also offers foreclosure prevention events, to connect homeowners with counselors and assistance in person. The network’s first event will be held Saturday, March 31 in Berwyn. Counselors will be on-hand to help homeowners in need of foreclosure prevention assistance from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Morton West High School. The state recently received a $1.7 million federal grant to support continued free counseling assistance within the IFPN.
The Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, also announced in February, will rehabilitate vacant properties and increase affordable housing in the communities of Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Park Forest, Riverdale and South Holland. During the announced pilot phase of the program, a $55 million joint commitment from the state of Illinois and Cook County will help the six communities stabilize neighborhoods, protect property values, preserve the existing local tax base and increase affordable housing. The communities selected for the pilot have been among those hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
In April, Governor Quinn will build on his commitment to affordable housing at the 2012 Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing. The conference, which takes place April 16th and 17th, will feature U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan as a keynote speaker, and bring together key stakeholders to increase affordable housing throughout Illinois.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (www.ihda.org) is an independent, self-supporting bonding authority that finances the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Illinois. Since 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $10.6 billion to finance more than 215,000 affordable housing units for the residents of Illinois.