Governor Pat Quinn today signed two new housing laws to provide people with disabilities with more access to affordable rental housing, and to further protect homeowners from mortgage fraud. The supportive housing law makes $10 million in rental housing subsidies available over 15 years to eligible landlords. In addition, the governor announced the commitment of up to $40 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funds for developers of permanent supportive housing. These laws build on the governor's strong commitment to providing more housing options for people with disabilities, and to protecting consumers from predatory lenders.
"I am committed to strengthening Illinois' communities and our economy," Governor Quinn said. "Thanks to these new laws, more people with disabilities will have a safe and comfortable place to call home and homeowners will be better protected."
House Bill 5450, sponsored by Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago) and Sen. William Delgado (D-Chicago), enables grant funding to be designated for people with disabilities under the Rental Housing Support Program, one of the nation's largest state rental assistance programs, which is administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). The new law and the Illinois Jobs Now! funding commitment will significantly increase opportunities for people with disabilities to access affordable rental housing throughout Illinois. The new law takes effect immediately.
"I was able to work with IHDA on this new law, which allows grant funding to develop housing opportunities for people with disabilities," said Sen. Delgado, Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. "The previous law stated that to qualify for these grants a person had to have a specific disability, the new law will allow all with disabilities to qualify for assistance."
Also today, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 4521, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago), which raises fees for mortgage company licensees and significantly increases fines penalizing mortgage fraud to better protect homeowners. The new law also strengthens the ability of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's Division of Banking to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud throughout the state. The new law is effective immediately, with one provision taking effect Jan. 1, 2013.
"Exercising vigilant oversight in the areas of loan modifications and short sales will be particularly beneficial as we work to slow the rate of foreclosure and protect distressed homeowners from financial exploitation," said Sen. Collins.
Earlier this year, Governor Quinn launched the Active Community Care Transition (ACCT) Plan to increase the number of people with developmental disabilities and mental health conditions living in community-based care settings across Illinois. The ACCT Plan also will help the state save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while providing good care for people with developmental disabilities.
"Supportive housing makes a difference in the lives of people with disabilities by empowering them to live independently as part of a community," said IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney. "Under Governor Pat Quinn's leadership, IHDA has financed approximately 1,300 units of supportive housing to enable people with disabilities to live independently."
With House Bill 5450, landlords providing supportive housing units may apply for subsidies under the Long Term Operating Support (LTOS) portion of the Rental Housing Support Program. The LTOS program is funded through a $10 fee collected from real estate document recordings, and the new round of funding will help an estimated 150 households headed by a person with a disability.
In addition, today's Illinois Jobs Now! commitment will spur the development of approximately 200 new supportive housing units through a new round of the state's Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Development Program. Governor Quinn's historic capital program included $130 million for affordable and supportive housing to further create opportunities for people with disabilities to live independently. The first round of the PSH Program financed 122 units of supportive housing.
IHDA is currently accepting applications from landlords and developers for the LTOS and PSH programs. Applications and information are available at www.ihda.org.