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Housing Justice

Nivedita Sriram provides support to the Housing Justice Department as the Housing & Homelessness AmeriCorps VISTA. Before coming to the Shriver Center, Sriram graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. She has interned with womenwinning, a Minnesota-based nonprofit dedicated to encouraging pro-choice women candidates to run for all levels of elected office, and Gender Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to using the legal system to eradicate gender-based violence and discrimination.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017                                                              

Contacts:
Michelle Nicolet, Shriver Center
(P): 312.368.2675
mnicolet@povertylaw.org

Sasha Samberg-Champion, Relman, Dane & Colfax
(P): 202.728.1888
ssamberg-champion@relmanlaw.com

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2017
Contact: Michelle Nicolet
mnicolet@povertylaw.org, 312.368.2675

New Report Urges Compliance with the Violence Against Women Act by the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

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Protections Delayed

Nearly 20 people per minute—more than 10 million per year—are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

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Municipal governments throughout Illinois are pursuing policies that displace low-income tenants and threaten the supply of affordable rental housing. Some municipalities are seeking to eliminate the federally assisted housing that serves low-income families in their jurisdiction. Other municipalities are taking steps to prevent the development of new affordable housing opportunities that are desperately needed by their low-income residents. Read more ➢

Keys in door lock

The Safe Homes Act protects the health and safety of survivors of domestic and sexual violence who live in rental and subsidized housing. This law allows tenants and members of their household who are survivors of violence to:

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The Shriver Center is a partner organization to the Preservation Compact, which brings together the region's public, private, and nonprofit leaders to address the lost of affordable housing stock in Cook County, Illinois. Visit Preservation Compact

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Legal and Practical Consequences of Crime Free Rental Housing and Nuisance Property Ordinances

The Cost of Being "Crime Free"

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It’s time for local governments to seriously consider the human and legal costs associated with local crime-free and nuisance property ordinances that regulate rental housing, landlords, and tenants. This report offers municipalities the tools necessary to create rental housing policies that value quality, safe rental housing while also protecting protected classes and respecting the rights of landlords and tenants.

Download "Reducing the Cost of Being 'Crime Free'" .

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Marie Claire Tran-Leung advocates on behalf of low-income people to reduce unfair criminal records barriers to affordable housing. In 2010, she was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship for a project to increase the use of the Fair Housing Act to challenge such barriers. She most recently authored When Discretion Means Denial: A National Perspective on Criminal Records in Federally Subsidized Housing. Her prior work has included expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal records and preserving subsidized housing. Download this Read more ➢

Case managers often struggle to find effective service-delivery strategies for the increasing numbers of undocumented families their programs serve. This webinar presented a national perspective on service-delivery strategies in four basic areas of need: public benefits, health care, housing, and employment.

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Emily Coffey advocates ​for tenants living in or in need of ​affordable housing through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and technical legal assistance for community organizers and tenant leaders. Emily originally came to the Shriver Center in February 2015 as an Equal Justice Works VISTA Fellow, where she worked to build the capacity of tenant associations by assisting, educating, and engaging tenants and tenant organizers in federally assisted properties to preserve affordable housing. Read more ➢

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), which offered important protections to tenants in residential property subject to foreclosure, expired at the end of 2014. Panelists at this webinar presented on February 4, 2015, discussed strategies to protect tenants post-PTFA. The implications of the PTFA's expiration and state initiatives to pass similar protections were also covered.

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A National Perspective on Criminal Records Barriers to Federally Subsidized Housing

When Discretion Means DenialOverly restrictive policies used by public housing authorities and federally subsidized project owners to deny admission to people with criminal records can violate civil rights laws, increase homelessness, and otherwise impede a person's chance to reintegrate into society.

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Kate Walz, Director of Housing Justice, advocates on behalf of low-income individuals living in or in need of public, subsidized, or affordable housing. She has served as counsel in a variety of litigation aimed at preserving public and subsidized housing, enforcing fair housing laws, and protecting the housing rights of tenants. Download this Read more ➢

Letter to Belleville City Council and Task Force on Revised Crime Free Housing Ordinance

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Letter to Skokie on Multi-Unit Licensing Ordinance

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Letter to Rockford on Rental Property Registration and Chronic Nuisance Ordinance

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Letter to Belleville on Crime Free Housing Ordinance Proposal

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Letter to Belleville City Council on Crime Free Housing Ordinance

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Shriver Center letter to Kane County/City of Aurora/City of Elgin regarding the draft Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

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Shriver Center letter to the City of Aurora regarding the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing in the context of Jericho Circle redevelopment

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Comments filed by the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance with the Cook County Board re the county's duty to affirmatively further fair housing.

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Advocates are looking at the recent passage of the Safe Homes Act as a victory in the first of many steps to make homes a safe place for victims of violence. Effective January 1, 2007, the Safe Homes Act is the first of many steps toward making the homes of domestic and sexual violence victims a safer place.  

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When Discretion Means Denial: The Use of Criminal Records to Deny Low-Income People Access to Federally Subsidized Housing in Illinois

When the Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development recently urged public housing authorities to use their discretion to admit applicants with past arrest and conviction records rather than simply exclude them from subsidized housing, we wondered: what happens when discretion means denial?

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The Illinois Assisted Housing Action Research Project (IHARP), a collaboration of Housing Action Illinois, the Latino Policy Forum, the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, and the Shriver Center has released this report, which finds that the majority of the Chicago Housing Authority's 35,000 Housing Choice Voucher households continue to reside in predominately African-American, poverty concentrated communities in Chicago. Download this Read more ➢

The Shriver Center works to protect housing rights and expand housing opportunities for individuals and families with low income.

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