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Cuts with costs

Newstips reports on the potential impact of the Governor’s veto of new supportive housing funding on an affordable housing rescue effort by Women’s Opportunities for Housing in Rogers Park.

“It’s a short-term cut with a long-term cost,” said HOW executive director Britt Shawver.  More at Newstips.

Another ill-timed cut:  Blagojevich cut funding for legal aid (through the Attorney General’s Office via the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation) from $5 million to $2 million.

Pointing to the rise in mortgage fraud and foreclosure cases, State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg says (in a release [pdf] from the Illinois Equal Justice Campaign), “The legal aid system in Illinois was already in crisis mode.  Now with this funding cut, an urgent situation has been made significantly worse, to the point where many communities will be left without legal aid services.”

Foreclosure filings in Illinois have risen 42 percent in the past year, putting the state in the top ten of the worst-hit states in the nation.

According to the Campaign: “Legal aid organizations in Illinois have been woefully underfunded for years with less than 300 legal aid lawyers available to help the more than 1.2 million Illinois residents living in poverty. Out of the ten most populous states, Illinois ranks near the bottom when it comes to legal aid funding, spending $3.5 million compared to the average of $10.6 million.”

Now Blagojevich is taking the appropriation back down to the 2005 level.  He’s also cut the budget for the Attorney General’s office, a last-resort resource for housing groups trying to save families’ homes, by 25 percent.

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Category: foreclosures, Governor Blagojevich, homeless, housing, state budget

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