Members of the Illinois Housing Opportunity Working Group and the Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors have approved updates to the association’s housing policy which better address senior and veteran housing issues and to eliminate out-of-date information.
Sarah Ware, chair of the working group, said the comprehensive review of the policy added key words and eliminated out-of-date language or topics. “It is important for our members to know the positions of their association and communicate those positions to elected officials, customers and clients. We are involved in every aspect of real estate,” she said.
The revised Housing Policy can be found here.
A subcommittee of the Working Group worked on the document.
The guiding principles of the Illinois REALTORS® housing policy states:
“As an Association, we reaffirm our commitment to the goals of decent housing and a suitable living environment for everyone. We believe that this goal can best be accomplished by a housing market that fosters sustainable and affordable home ownership or rental opportunities for every income level and generation and endure economic fluctuations whether local or global.”
While staying consistent with our long-standing policy positions, the group recommended expanding the categories covered in the context of affordable housing development. For example, in the “Removing barriers to the supply of diverse and affordable housing” section. It now reads:
“We support and encourage the enactment of zoning allowances and exceptions for density for low to moderate income, disabled, elderly, veterans and multi-generational housing.”
With the expanding needs of seniors, and in recognition of the selfless service from our veterans, it made sense for us to be clear in our statements that affordable housing solutions need to include these populations, Ware said.
Voices of experience
Ware is one of six Housing Opportunity Working Group members who have experience with housing policy issues. Ware has worked with Chicago Public Schools, O’Hare Airport, Cook County and is a member of the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
Other members of the working group include:
- Annette Akey, Illinois REALTORS® Housing Opportunity Working Group, with experience pertaining to the disabled;
- Loretta Alonzo-Deubel, immediate past chair of NAR Housing Opportunity Committee and a former Illinois REALTORS® president.
- Mabél Guzmán, former chair of NAR Conventional Finance and Policy Committee and 2017 NAR Vice-President;
- Dana Hybl, chair of the Senior Housing Working Group and member of the Housing Opportunity Working Group; and
- Kay Wirth, NAR Federal Financing & Housing Policy Committee, and a former Illinois REALTORS® president.
Alonzo said: “As the ‘Voice of Real Estate in Illinois,’ we need to be in the forefront of all issues that affect housing for Illinois residents.”
Guzman said: “It’s important the association not only have a housing policy but also one that evolves and addresses the changes and challenges that happen in housing. Having a housing policy is effective and reminds us our mission extends beyond the protection private property rights. It is about the people affected by these changes and challenges.”