KIFAR members share flood insurance concerns with U.S. Rep. Kinzinger in Watseka



U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (16th Congressional District) provided updates on legislative issues like flood insurance, tax reform and housing and answered questions from 15 members of the Kankakee-Iroquois-Ford-Association of REALTORS® (KIFAR) Wednesday in Watseka.

Federal Political Coordinator Ed Neaves led the discussion, which also covered developments with the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Neaves and his fellow REALTORS® emphasized the importance of extending national flood insurance past the Sept. 30 expiration date, since Watseka is in a flood plain and the National Association of REALTORS® estimates that 40,000 real estate transactions could be affected.

Kinzinger is in his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and his district covers 14 counties in northern Illinois.

Make your voice heard in local elections tomorrow: vote!

Illinois REALTORS® can vote for local candidates who support private property rights and lower taxes and encourage local business growth, and they can help defeat Home Rule bids in four communities in consolidated elections Tuesday.

For a list of candidates who have received REALTOR® support through independent expenditures and a list of communities who are considering Home Rule, go here. For an brief explanation of why REALTORS® oppose Home Rule, read this.

If you need help finding information about voting registration, locating your election authority and checking to make sure you’re registered to vote, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website at



NAR offers help for Illinois tornado victims too

Illini Valley CEO Gail Pyszka and Ottawa REALTOR® Katie Troccoli were two of the volunteers helping tornado victims near Ottawa in early March. Others included Andrea Greenwalt, Linda Taglia, Alice Green, Tom Guttilla and Dara Weikel.

Starting immediately, Illinois’ late February-early March tornado victims can apply for up to $1,500 in housing relief assistance from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTOR® Relief Foundation, too.

REALTORS® can share this application with tornado victims whose primary residence has been affected by tornado damage. Victims can use the assistance to make a monthly mortgage payment or to pay for temporary shelter.  The maximum available amount is $1,500 per applicant, per household.

The deadline for application submission is July 1, 2017.

Your state association helps too

This financial assistance is in addition to money available to Illinois tornado victims through the Illinois REALTOR® Relief Fund (IRRF). The IRRF offers a maximum of $500 per application, with the money to be used for documented housing, subsistence, and other needs such as assistance with insurance deductible. Applicants must be full-time Illinois residents who meet program criteria. Assistance is needs-based and grants are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Members of the Illini Valley Association of REALTORS® (IVAR) helped staff the Multi Agency Resource Center in Ottawa in the days and weeks following the tornadoes, passing out IRRF applications for disaster relief and Wal-Mart gift cards to victims whose homes were severely damaged in the storms. IVAR CEO Gail Pyszka says the generosity of REALTORS® around the state has been appreciated.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support by both our community and the surrounding area association members,” she says.

The IRRF has received 27 applications for assistance so far says Cathy Madaus, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Operations, and liaison for the IRRF.

The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes in northern Illinois the evening of Feb. 28, including EF-3 tornadoes that hit Ottawa, the nearby village of Naplate and Washburn, northeast of Peoria. Two Ottawa men died from injuries after a tree fell during the storm. Another man died in the southern Illinois town of Crossville, in White County, near the Indiana state line.

Damage was heaviest in Naplate and on the south side of Ottawa, with one fourth of Naplate’s 200 homes damaged.

One of the first local associations to offer assistance to the area was the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® delivering $500 of gift cards to the relief efforts. However, since then, the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and the Heartland REALTOR® Organization have given $1,000 and $500 to IRRF, says Madaus. REALTORS® who would like to donate money to IRRF online can do so via debit card, credit card or PayPal account. Go here to donate.


REALTORS® host radio program to discuss key downtown Springfield development projects

Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton (right) talks to Springfield radio personality Sam Madonia (left) Tuesday morning. Kent Massie is sitting next to Clayton.

The future development of the REALTORS® Bicentennial Plaza and the lot north of the Illinois Executive Mansion brought Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Springfield Alderman Herman Senor, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton and a local Springfield radio program to the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters Tuesday morning.

AM Springfield 1450, hosted by Sam Madonia, asked Clayton about the association’s donation of land, then discussed plaza development with Kent Massie, Principal Planner and Landscape Architect of Massie Massie & Associates. Langfelder explained his hopes for the project and its links to development of the lot that was formerly occupied by the recently-razed Springfield YWCA (sometimes referred to as the North Mansion Block).

Senor and Neil Malone, Manager of Grassroots and Political Programs, discussed the positive impact of the project on Springfield’s Second Ward.

Illinois first lady Diana Rauner talked about restoration plans for the Illinois Executive Mansion and how they would coincide with the state’s bicentennial in 2018. Rauner is chair of the Illinois Executive Mansion Association, a non-profit organization that raises money for the restoration. Ann Londrigan, Vice President, Member and Association Engagement explained how the restoration of the governor’s mansion and the bicentennial would coincide with local restoration projects that REALTORS® would be involved with around the state.

Vice President Communications Jon Broadbooks provided Madonia and his listeners with background information on Illinois REALTORS®, its role representing more than 44,000 members and its local role as a corporate citizen of downtown Springfield.



1,800 REALTORS® sound off against HB2430 in less than one day

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Nearly 1,800 Illinois REALTORS® contacted their state representatives by early Tuesday afternoon to voice their displeasure with House Bill 2430.

The news came less than 24 hours after the association asked members to speak out against legislation that would repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997.  In order for lawmakers to understand how this bill threatens private property rights across the state, more REALTORS® need to make their voices heard. Make your voice heard!

Illinois REALTORS® has a summary which lists the myriad of reasons REALTORS® (and their clients) should be concerned about rent control. You can find summary here.

If you didn’t get the email sent to you Monday by Illinois REALTORS®, then click here and tell lawmakers to not support HB2430.