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State Urged to Take On Role in Housing Market

March 3, 2008

Springfield, IL – Illinois is poised to get into the housing market. State legislators are examining a proposal from housing advocates to carve out $100 million for affordable housing in the capital budget.

Bob Palmer with Housing Action Illinois says the foreclosure crisis has focused attention on why it makes sense for the state to get involved.

"Both the importance of housing to our communities as well as the importance of housing as an economic engine for our state and our nation are reasons to be involved at the government level."

Palmer says state investment in affordable housing would also mean new construction to help the sagging business sector. The Governor has proposed some affordable housing money in his new $25 billion capital budget, which focuses on projects like infrastructure and state buildings.

"You think of life's basic necessities as being infrastructure, roads and bridges and hospitals, but obviously, housing is an important part of that."

Palmer says one in six Illinois households is paying more than they can afford for housing, with mortgage payments or rent taking up more than half of their income.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IL