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posted: 1/15/2013 12:49 PM

Housing agency seeks nominees for leadership awards

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Lake County Affordable Housing Commission submission

The Lake County Affordable Housing Commission is accepting nominations for the 2013 Affordable Housing Leadership Awards.

"We are looking to honor those that have pioneered change and shaped tangible accomplishments for housing in Lake County," says Jeff Zaluda, immediate past president of the commission and the voice behind the Leadership Awards.

"The Great Recession has had a devastating, lingering impact on Lake County," Zaluda added.

"At a time when 46 percent of all residents are house-poor and there are more than 5,000 foreclosure filings annually, it is important that we recognize the work that is being done to strengthen families and neighborhoods as we regain our collective footing."

Lisa Pugliese, the commission's executive director, said local heroes span the housing, lending and public service industries.

"They include lenders, Realtors, home inspectors, housing providers, advocates, elected officials, civil servants, and many more. They lead by example, promote collaboration, embrace innovation and conduct themselves with integrity," Pugliese said.

The commission is seeking nominees who have, for example, empowered responsible homeownership, prevented foreclosure, improved the housing stock, increased housing supply throughout Lake County, influenced policy and stabilized neighborhoods.

Winners will be revealed at the Affordable Housing Awards Breakfast Feb. 22 at Key Lime Cove in Gurnee. The breakfast's key note speaker is Bill Powers of BERG Holdings.

His family-run business rehabilitated more than 50 homes in northern Waukegan, occupying many of those homes with an innovative rent-to-own model to help those rebuilding after foreclosure to reattain and sustain the dream of homeownership.

To submit a nomination, include name and complete contact information of the nominator; name, title and contact information of the nominee; and a description of how the nominee pioneered change and/or impacted affordable housing opportunities in Lake County.

The nomination should not exceed two typed pages. Send the nomination or direct questions to Pugliese at or (847) 263-7478.

The Lake County Affordable Housing Commission is a commission of the county board dedicated to furthering programs, policy and strategy that increase and preserve affordable housing opportunities