Attorney General Lisa Madigan announces $70 million for community revitalization efforts

July 19, 2013 - 3:44pm
Woodstock Institute receives $500,000 to track neighborhood economic indicators and trends

CHICAGO—Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced yesterday $70 million of awards to housing counseling and community revitalization organizations. The funding comes from a landmark settlement between 49 state Attorneys General and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over allegations that servicers were improperly preparing foreclosure documents, or “robosigning.” Woodstock Institute will receive an award of $500,000 to track economic development indicators to help housing counseling and community revitalization organizations target their resources and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs.

“The Illinois Attorney General’s Community Revitalization & Housing Counseling Awards under the National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement will be an enormous boon to neighborhoods across Illinois,” said Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute. “Woodstock is excited to contribute to these efforts by providing key data and research to help community organizations target resources and maximize impact  to help turn the tide in struggling neighborhoods.”

Woodstock Institute, in partnership with the DePaul University Institute for Housing Studies, will track key housing data and economic indicators (including employment trends, vacancy rates, and job creation). These data will be analyzed and published in joint annual reports tracking the impact of the National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Awards on economic well-being. Additionally, Woodstock Institute will create an interactive web mapping tool to display up-to-date economic indicators that community organizations can use to identify areas of high need and target resources appropriately. Woodstock Institute, in partnership with Housing Action Illinois, will also assess the capacity of housing counseling organizations in Illinois to meet persistently high demand for foreclosure prevention and homeownership counseling through surveys and data analysis. After three years, Woodstock and Housing Action will publish a follow-up report to assess how counseling capacity has changed over the course of the Award period.

“Illinois communities, especially communities of color and low-wealth communities, have been devastated by the effects of the foreclosure crisis,” said Rand. “Blight, negative equity, and damaged credit will pose significant barriers to recovery in Illinois for years to come. The awards announced yesterday will  build the capacity of organizations working to restore opportunities in hard hit communities where the  need is great.”

For more information, contact Spencer Cowan at scowan@woodstockinst.org or 312-368-0310.