Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing

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Board Member Taft West

LCBH is grateful for the dedicated leaders who serve on our Board of Directors, volunteering their time, energy and resources to lead the organization during periods of growth and change. Many thanks to our outgoing Board Member Taft West, who has contributed so much to the organization.

We would like to thank Taft for his remarkable service! Taft is stepping away from being a board member to enjoy retirement. We recently sat down with Taft to learn about his experience serving on the LCBH Board of Directors.

Where did you work prior to board membership?
I have been fortunate to spend my entire career working in affordable housing. I started working for Draper and Kramer in 1979 as an Assistant Manager trainee, helping with the development of Dearborn Park. I managed over 2,000 apartments and 30 commercial units, which were some of their largest properties and condos, including Lake Meadows. This responsibility prepared me for my transition to Rockford, Illinois, where I managed the Rockford Housing Authority for five years. After receiving my real estate license in 2008, I started teaching classes on fair and affordable housing, marketing, maintenance, housing choice vouchers, and landlord tenant ordinances at the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Colin Cordes, LCBH Board Member

We are excited to welcome Colin Cordes as a new LCBH Board Member. Colin brings years of experience in finance and healthcare to the organization. He is excited to use his robust business background to help LCBH to identify opportunities to expand. We recently sat down with Colin to learn what drew him to pursue board service with LCBH.

How were you connected with LCBH?
I found out about LCBH through an organization called Board Lead that matches people interested in community service with nonprofits that need additional board members. Board Lead teaches you how boards operate and prepares you for various responsibilities, roles and opportunities to lend your input. LCBH liked my profile. I talked with a few staff and board members and I was ready to join.

What have you done prior to working with LCBH?
My background is in business. I have bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from Indiana University, and a master’s degree in public health from University of Missouri. I’ve worked for four different companies in healthcare consulting, mainly working in IT. A lot of my work focused on providing and implementing best solutions and strategizing and sorting through financial touchpoints between patients and providers. I currently work for Olive AI, where automation is key. Our goal is to make healthcare cost effective and smoother for everyone involved.

Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) is committed to addressing systemic racism and its toll on communities of color. Recently, LCBH supported the Chicago Housing Justice League (CHJL) to submit a grant to the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund. The Fund is a collaboration between thirteen Chicago area foundations that pledged to raise and move $3M to community organizations building and sustaining movements for justice. In January, the CHJL was awarded a $40,000 grant to hire a program coordinator and create a sound leadership structure to sustain its programmatic work.

The Chicago Housing Justice League consists of 37 community organizations dedicated to promoting just housing policies and programs in the City of Chicago. Since its inception in 2018, the League’s work has primarily been supported by LCBH providing in-kind contributions to its development and maintenance. The CHJL recently hired Annie Howard as its first ever program coordinator. With Annie on board, the CJHL and its members will advance its mission even farther. Annie will oversee the administrative and programmatic activities of CHJL, which will build the League’s capacity, create a sound leadership structure, and sustain its programmatic work.

Renter StoriesMore Stories

Miss Wade, Eviction During the Pandemic

Miss Wade

While many assume evictions are not an issue for Chicagoans right now due federal and state evictions moratoria, the reality is quite different.

Gerald: My LCBH Attorney and Court Based Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Prevented me from being Homeless

Gerald

Our client, Gerald S., has worked hard throughout his career and never missed paying his rent.

Michael: Without my LCBH Attorney, I Would Have Been Homeless

Michael

Our client, "Michael," worked hard throughout his career to save for retirement.

I Wouldn't Wish It On My Worst Enemies

Margie

In 30-plus years in the Logan Square area, Margie had only lived in four different apartments.

Ms. Thomas

Ms. Thomas

Imagine you’re sprawled out on your couch after getting home from work, taking a moment to unwind from the day, thinking about what you might make for dinner.

Rachel’s Paycheck-to-Paycheck Reality

Rachel

We may not realize it, but many people are “one paycheck away from being homeless.” Unfortunately this is the reality for many of those we see at LCBH.