Lawson HouseSPRINGFIELD – Federal tax credits that aid in construction or renovation of affordable housing will flow to a project totaling 400 units in the north side of Chicago, State Senator Mattie Hunter announced today.

“As more Illinoisans become rent burdened, meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing, this award is an important step toward tackling the growing affordability problem for Chicago’s renter households,” said Hunter(D-Chicago), who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Housing.

Lawson House in Chicago is one of 25 Affordable Housing Developments receiving the federal tax incentive. With this award, Holsten Real Estate Development will undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation of the historic building, resulting in 400 units, the majority targeted to those at or below Area Media Income (AMI).  After the completion, Lawson House will still offer office and programming spaces for the various social service providers who currently work with tenants.

The Low-Income Housing Tax credit provides a tax incentive to construct or rehabilitate affordable rental housing for low-income households. It has created more than 90,970 units in the state, generating $4.9 billion in private capital for affordable housing.

In total, $28 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits will be awarded to 16 different counties across Illinois.

“I am thrilled that Lawson House is going to get the necessary funding it needs to rehabilitate and create more affordable housing units for the community,” Hunter said, “but I remain committed to finding more comprehensive and innovative solutions to the affordable housing crisis in our state.”

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 05142019CM0490SPRINGFIELD – Speaking at an SEIU Healthcare Home Care Lobby Day rally, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) once again stressed the importance of giving a raise to care workers who provide in-home services for seniors in Illinois.

“Right now, home care agencies are struggling to recruit and retain caregivers in every corner of the state,” Hunter said. “Why? Because the average Illinois home care worker’s hourly wage is only $11.08.”

Hunter is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 2019, which would provide agencies a rate increase to ensure that every home care aide working through the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Programs earns at least $13 per hour by July 1, 2019.

For years, funding for programs under the Community Care Program have gone unchanged, which leaves care providers unable to raise workers’ wages and has left Illinois unprepared to deal with workforce shortages. Projections also show that the population of Illinoisans over the age of 65 will grow by one-third by 2025, ballooning to 2.5 million people. Currently, the state needs 19,500 more workers to meet demand, but will also need another 12,000 workers annually to account for high turnover rates as caregivers are pushed out of the industry in search of better-paying jobs.  

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Fair tax infographicTwitter ImageSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) joined her colleagues in voting to allow the General Assembly to end the unfair flat income tax rate:

“Today, I chose to stand up for the hardworking men and women in our state who have struggled to put food on the table for their families and get ahead under an unfair tax system that places the same burden on a restaurant server that it does on billionaire investment bankers.

“Reforming our tax code so that the wealthy pay their fair share while easing the burden on 97 percent of all Illinoisans is the right thing to do. It will not only allow us to invest in our schools and social services and boost our local economies throughout the state, but it will help put Illinois on a responsible path to fiscal stability.”

If the amendment passes both the Senate and the House with a three-fifths supermajority vote, it will be placed as a question on the November 2020 ballot. The Constitution will be amended if 60 percent of those voting on the question approve it, or a simple majority of all voters in the election.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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