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December 10, 2007

Blagojevich Administration Officials launch Governor’s 2nd Annual Conference on Affordable Housing
More than 300 industry professionals to learn how to expand affordable housing options for seniors, working families, homeless individuals and persons with disabilities

CHICAGO – Continuing the Governor’s commitment to expand affordable housing options across the state, officials from the Blagojevich Administration today launched Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s 2nd Annual Conference on Affordable Housing. The two-day event held at McCormick Place in Chicago will allow hundreds of experts, developers, lenders and other professionals learn how to expand affordable housing opportunities for seniors, working families, homeless individuals and persons with disabilities.
“Everybody is entitled to have a place they can call their own.  But in today’s economy with the rising wave of foreclosures, we have to make sure that not only are we doing everything we can to protect hard working families from losing what they’ve worked so hard to achieve, but also that we keep developing new ideas and options for affordable housing. This Conference will help us figure out new strategies so more people will have a real shot at the American Dream of homeownership,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
The Conference theme, “40 Years of Building a Better Illinois,” is designed to stimulate timely panel discussions about key affordable housing issues among industry professionals, including the preservation and rehabilitation of existing homes, increasing sustainable homeownership for underserved communities, and the coordination and alignment of state resources for affordable housing.
The Conference is the latest step taken by Gov. Blagojevich to improve the affordability of Illinois’ housing stock.  In 2003, the Governor established the first statewide Affordable Housing Task Force to help develop a coordinated approach to finance and develop affordable housing.  In 2005, the Task Force created the landmark Building for Success: Illinois’ Comprehensive Housing Plan which identified statewide housing needs and established tangible targets to meet the needs of six priority populations: very low income families; low income seniors; low income people with disabilities; homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless; low and moderate income families and people unable to find affordable housing near jobs or transportation; and low income families and people living in existing affordable housing in danger of becoming unaffordable.  The 2007 Illinois Comprehensive Housing Plan: Affordable Housing Dimensions continues to build on the coordinated success of the prior year plans.
The event coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the self-supporting State agency responsible for increasing the supply of decent and safe homes for low-income residents.
“IHDA is excited to celebrate its 40th year in financing the creation and the preservation of affordable housing throughout the state,” said IHDA Executive Director DeShana L. Forney. “Through the Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing, we’re proud to provide the advanced-level workshops on federal tax credits, preservation strategies and industry trends.”
More than 30 concurrent sessions detailing the State’s affordable housing programs and the different financing options for homeownership and multi-family development, offered by IHDA, will be available at the Conference. Topics include: Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention/Mitigation; and New Market Tax Credits in Illinois. In addition, the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition will sponsor two special sessions:  Status of Supportive Living Facilities (SLF) in Illinois and Underwriting SLF’s.
During the Conference, on behalf of the Governor, IHDA will present the Legislative Award for Exceptional Commitment to Affordable Housing to State Senators William Peterson (R-Buffalo Grove) and Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) for their commitment to increasing and preserving affordable housing in Illinois.


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