State government’s solution to end homelessness becomes law

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 12:40 AM CDT
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CHICAGO (25News Now) - Gov. JB Pritzker has signed into the law the Home Illinois bill (HB2831) that has the goal of moving the state to “functional zero” homelessness.

The fiscal 2024 Illinois budget commits almost $360 million to the cause, compared to $85.3 million the previous fiscal year.

The law makes permanent the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. The two groups work with state agencies, nonprofits, advocates and people who have been homeless to create a comprehensive plan.

Moving to “functional zero” means homelessness is brief, rare, and non-recurring.

“Today, we recommit ourselves, with the force of this new law, to a future where every Illinoisian, not matter what their circumstances were, has a safe place to call home,” Pritzker said at Wednesday’s signing ceremony.

Home Illinois expands affordable housing options, targets people in high-risk situations. and gives comprehensive support to anyone who is homeless.

A news release from the governor’s office said the $360 million allocated to prevent homelessness includes the following investments:

  • $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.

One of the Senate sponsors of House Bill 2831 was Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria).