apartment building 4717689 960 720CHICAGO — Legislators met Thursday to discuss economic equity, access, and opportunity for Black communities as the third pillar of a larger agenda to address the deep injustices facing Black Illinoisans. State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) stated the need for more affordable housing as a primary implementable step.

“Black Americans have suffered economic disparities for centuries,” Hunter said. “We never received our 40 acres and a mule, and the loss of generational wealth in addition to the effects of segregation and housing discrimination have further devastated our communities, not to mention COVID-19 more recently.”

During the hearing, legislators shared their concerns for Black residents who have been suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, many unable to afford their rent.

Decades of redlining and predatory lending has greatly affected Black home ownership, on top of the housing crisis of the 2010s. According to Acorns, the share of Black home ownership decreased from 49% to 42% between 2005 and 2016, while home ownership decreased from 73% to 68% for white families.

Legislators also heard from Kristin Faust, Executive Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, who recognized the systemic factors that have put Black residents at a disadvantage.

In addition to the recent Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, which served as the largest housing assistance program in the nation, Faust said that IHDA is working on new, innovative ways to provide financing for those who are struggling, especially in light of the coronavirus.

“I am looking forward to seeing some solutions from the Housing Development Authority soon,” Hunter said. “Black families have suffered these injustices across our state and across our country for far too long. They need real, implementable change. Black families deserve equity and housing that is affordable now.”

Category: Social Equality

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