On March 12th Housing Action Illinois hosted their annual fundraiser at Lagunitas Brewing to celebrate Housing Champions of all kinds. Attending this celebration, spending time with my peers makes me think: what does it mean to be a Housing Champion?
I asked the question to Rachel Rice, Assistant Director of Housing for New Moms. She says being a Housing Champion means:
"Remembering to say YIMBY – it’s not just a fun word to say. It means Yes In My Back Yard, reminding our communities and residents that may take their right to housing for granted that low-income residents have every right to be in their neighborhood. Yes In My Back Yard to affordable housing!"
Ashley, a VISTA working for CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation, shared some of her experiences with low-income homeowners:
"I want to reach the lower income rural areas so we can break the cycle of poverty. I want to empower people to take control of their finances, to know that they are capable of owning their own home."
Low-income housing is something that people do not always like to discuss. Sometimes when low-income housing moves into higher income areas, it is seen as a bad thing, and instead of welcoming and embracing these new neighbors to the community, they are shunned.
This is why, to me, it is so important that everyone understands that housing is a basic human right. No matter how many resources a person or family own, they have the right to safe, comfortable, affordable housing.
Low-income housing for older adults is so important.
As we age housing becomes a safety net for seniors – when you stop working, when you are slowing down, you hope that you will always have a place to live. For low-income seniors in Chicago housing is not always fair or reliable.
H.O.M.E. offers low-income housing in intergenerational community settings that support seniors in keeping their independence and continuing to build relationships. In fact, all of our programs help low-income seniors live with more confidence, independence, and ultimately a better life.
If you would like to do your part to support affordable housing for seniors in the Chicago area, join us for our Annual Celebration Dinner on April 26th! You can learn more about H.O.M.E.’s programs, meet some of our residents, and donate to keep our programs running!
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