State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) is forming a Foreclosure Prevention Task Force that will include HUD-approved housing counseling agencies serving the Austin and West Cook County communities.
The task force includes these collaborating counseling agencies and community action groups who have agreed to work together to address foreclosure prevention and intervention counseling gaps:
- Bethel New Life
- West Cook County Housing Resource Center
- Voice of Community Ministerial Association (VOCMA)
- Proviso-Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA)
- South Austin Coalition Community Council (SACCC)
- Westside Ministers Coalition (WMC)
The task force will focus on developing a cross-referral and tracking system between agencies and borrowers seeking foreclosure intervention/prevention counseling, maximizing effectiveness and efficiency of response; and expanding counseling services into communities with counseling service gaps.
“We can assist people who are working to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes,” Ford said in a written statement. “I am excited that this task force has formed to answer the call. Many in our communities have been in their homes for a long time and need access to the kind of resources this task force offers to stay in their homes, to stabilize their families and our neighborhoods.”
Otis Monroe of The Monroe Foundation, which is helping organize the task force, stated, “The Community Reinvestment Organizing Project (COP) of the Monroe Foundation supports this bold leadership role that Rep. Ford has taken on by forming a task force of counseling and housing action groups to work with him to address foreclosure needs of distressed homeowners in West Cook County and Austin communities, and close gaps in resources these groups need to help keep families in their homes and communities stable.”
Phyllis Logan, vice president of operations for VOCMA, said her organization is pleased to participate. “We feel this task force will help many families who have been scammed by predators who prey on those in need and often rob them of hard-earned income. The task force is needed to bring advocates and expert housing counselors to the table to discuss how we can better serve our communities.”
Allison Schuller of Bethel New Life added, “Our neighborhoods need these services more than ever, and we think this approach will allow us to help the most people.”
Mary R. Kenney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said the agency looks forward to working with Rep. Ford and “hearing his constructive ideas as we strive to address the negative impact of foreclosures, and provide homeowners with the resources they need to keep their homes.”
In the third quarter of 2010, Illinois posted the nation’s fourth-largest foreclosure activity total, with 47,802 properties receiving foreclosure filings statewide, according to RealtyTrac.
In May, Ford co- sponsored in the Illinois General Assembly SJR30, the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act, creating a State Housing Task Force, which is charged with creating a comprehensive and unified policy for the allocation of resources for affordable housing and supportive services for historically underserved populations statewide.
For more information about the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, contact Rep. Ford’s constituent service office at 773-378-5902 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.