The Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority have provided funding to LCBH, making it possible for us to reach out to communities throughout Illinois that have been affected by the foreclosure crisis. Although we do not offer direct representation to tenants outside of Chicago, LCBH is travelling throughout Illinois to provide legal information and resources to those areas disproportionately impacted by this crisis. We are visiting targeted areas which are often served by only one non-profit legal service, either Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation or Prairie State Legal Services, who are supporting large geographical areas in a broad spectrum of legal issues ranging from domestic violence and child support to defending termination of public benefits such as social security benefits. Often renters coping with the loss of housing due to foreclosure issues are unable to secure legal help. Our helpline may be the only legal resource accessible to people who live in more remote areas of our state.
In April, LCBH’s Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project (TFIP) team travelled to Springfield and met with several community stakeholders including representatives from Kingdom Community Development Corporation, the Illinois Assistive Technology Program, the Springfield Housing Authority, Catholic Charities and the Springfield Urban League. LCBH provided information on the legal rights of renters who live in foreclosed buildings and delivered over 300 brochures to be shared with tenants in foreclosure. As a part of this trip, LCBH also attended a conference hosted by the Illinois Municipal Human Resources Association. At the conference, LCBH staff met with representatives of various Illinois municipalities and discussed how LCBH can assist their residents who have been adversely impacted by the foreclosure crisis.
LCBH also returned to East St. Louis to conduct a community workshop. Hosted by East St. Louis’ City Manager and City Council, the training reviewed the legal rights of renters living in buildings in foreclosure. Staff also provided individualized counselling for attendees with questions or concerns about their housing. While on the road, LCBH delivered brochures and information about TFIP counseling services to communities impacted by the foreclosure crisis, such as Sullivan, the county seat for Moultrie County and Decatur.
LCBH plans additional educational and community outreach presentations later this summer, including planned visits to southern Cook County where we will conduct workshops for Bremen and Thornton townships.