As the headlines shift to a recovery in the housing market, with an increase in national home values and home sales, it would be easy to forget that many of our friends and neighbors are still struggling through the bad economy. Last year, over 28,000 Illinois families lost their homes. And the foreclosure rate in Illinois continues to be high. Determining what options are available can be a daunting task.
Gov. Pat Quinn launched the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network last year to ensure homeowners can efficiently and easily access all the resources they need in one place, free of charge, from a reliable and trusted source. IFPN coordinates the efforts of state agencies and nonprofit organizations working to connect homeowners with resources, providing a single point of entry for those seeking help. The network simplifies access to counseling, legal advice and even provides financial assistance to qualifying homeowners. Most importantly, it offers homeowners a safe, trusted and free source for support.
Since its launch, the network has connected over 350,000 Illinois families to information and support. These services are vital to homeowners in need and are easily accessed through the IFPN website, www.keepyourhomeillinois.org and toll-free helpline, (855) KEEP-411.
So while we are grateful to see signs of hope in the housing market, let's not forget about those who still need some help. Let's make 2013 a year of real recovery -- not just for some, but for all Illinois families. Pass the number along. Use it yourself. Access the resources that are available, and do it now.
Mary R. Kenney
Illinois Housing Development Authority