Press Release - Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Gov. Pritzker Signs HOME IL Bill Codifying Illinois Action on Homelessness Prevention
HB2831 codifies executive order forming Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness
Chicago—Governor JB Pritzker signed HB2831 today, codifying the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness, initially established by the Governor via executive order in 2021. This bill codifies the unprecedented interagency collaboration to move Illinois to "functional zero" homelessness by bolstering the safety net, targeting high-risk populations, expanding affordable housing, securing financial stability for unhoused individuals, and closing the mortality gap.
"Every person deserves access to safe shelter and the dignity that comes with housing," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This is a first-of-its-kind multi-agency cooperative effort — bringing together state agencies, nonprofit organizations, advocates, and people with lived experience to prevent and end homelessness. I'm grateful for their dedication and believe that together, we can prevent and end homelessness once and for all."
The Interagency Task Force and Community Advisory Council work across 17 Illinois state departments and agencies and over 100 processes, programs, and policies to develop a comprehensive plan to combat homelessness. The goal of the plan is to prevent shelter entry and, where unavoidable, ensure that shelter stays are limited and lead to quick transitions into stable living situations. HB2831 continues the important work of the Task Force and Council and ensures their mission is protected by state law.
Nationwide and in Illinois, homelessness disproportionately affects communities of color; Black Illinoisans make up 61% of the state's unhoused population despite comprising only 14% of the state. Home IL focuses on an equity-based approach that includes the voices and contributions of individuals with lived experiences of homelessness.
Since the launch of the Interagency Task Force via executive order in 2021, the Pritzker administration has taken significant steps to address homelessness in Illinois. The Home Illinois plan expands affordable housing options, targeting individuals in high-risk situations (including homeless college students and those leaving medical care), and providing comprehensive support for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Governor Pritzker's FY24 budget commits almost $360 million for the initiative, an $85.3 million increase from FY23. These investments include:
- $118 million to support unhoused populations seeking shelter and services, including $40.7 million in the Emergency and Transitional Housing Program.
- $50 million in Rapid ReHousing services for 2,000 households, including short-term rental assistance and targeted support for up to two years.
- $40 million in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Capital funds to develop 90+ new PSH units providing long term rental assistance and case management.
- $37 million in Emergency Shelter capital funds to create more than 460 non-congregate shelter units.
- $35 million for supportive housing services, homeless youth services, street outreach, medical respite, re-entry services, access to counsel, and other shelter diversion supports.
- $21.8 million to provide homelessness prevention services to approximately 6,000 more families.
- $30 million for court-based rental assistance.
- $15 million to fund Home Illinois Innovations Pilots.
- $12.5 million to create 500 new scattered site PSH units.
"People experiencing the trauma of housing instability are our neighbors and community members who deserve to be treated with humanity and dignity. With this cooperative effort, Illinois is ensuring our state agencies can continue to collaborate, and that stakeholders are at the table with us, to support our most vulnerable in living healthy, well, and with dignity." said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. "Our state is making it clear that we will continue to work together so we can all move forward, and we will focus on holistic strategies that bring us closer to ending homelessness in our state."
"This bill, and the permanency of the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, is a marker in the sand," said state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago). "Here in Illinois, we will not accept that 4,500 people have been living unsheltered every night. With this bill signing, we focus our political, economic and governmental will to produce concrete, long-term results for Chicago and communities across our state."
"Substance abuse and poverty have driven thousands of Illinoisans to live with the tragic burden of homelessness, and this plague deserves a robust response," said state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago). "Too many other states have turned to dehumanizing policies that make life for homeless people harder, or even criminal. I am confident this task force will explore new solutions based on compassion and understanding. Soon, I hope to be working to codify the suggested approaches into law."
"Access to mental health care or supportive services can make a profound difference in the lives of many people experiencing mental or behavioral health issues," said Laura Fine (D-Glenview), the Chairperson of the Senate's Behavioral and Mental Health Committee. "Mental health care is one of many parts of the HOME Illinois plan that targets the root causes of homelessness. I am a strong supporter of this program's work to improve housing security in Illinois by providing people with mental health support, affordable housing, job training and more."
"Preventing homelessness means eliminating its root causes, which include lack of affordable housing, poverty and lack of wrap around services," said State Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago). The HOME Illinois program is targeting the root causes of homelessness. The work the Department of Human Services will be doing in terms of street outreach, supportive housing and workforce development will make a world of difference for those experiencing housing insecurity and pave the way towards Illinois achieving functional zero homelessness."