PROGRAM & INCENTIVES
The Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) is the membership organization that provides a unified voice and support to the poverty fighting network of Community Action Agencies.
Energy & Utilities
Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies provides services to 35 Community Action Agencies as they strive to provide energy assistance to low-income people in Illinois. The principal resources available to the CAA network are the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP). (See LIHEAP & IHWAP links for program description below). LIHEAP and IHWAP are funded through a combination of federal and Illinois programs. Both the federal and state programs are administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). LIHEAP and IHWAP services are provided by IACAA’s membership network throughout the state of Illinois.
IACAAs Activities in the Area of Energy Assistance
- Training & Support Services
- Policy and Program Development
- LIHEAP Program Description
- IHWAP Program Description
- Ameren & ComEd Rate Relief Programs
Certified Community Action Professional
Please consider joining this distinguished group of peers in Illinois and across the country and participate in the upcoming cohort. Charles McCann, CCAP Emeritus, visits Illinois in the spring and fall every year to lead the CCAP Cohort. Charles frequently travels to Illinois throughout the fall and following spring to assist and guide CCAP candidates through the requirements of the CCAP.
The cost to participate is $350 for all seven sessions, with a minimum enrollment of 14 participants. The Illinois Cohort was created to support potential candidates through the CCAP process and to prepare for the all of the components – the fees paid to IACAA support Charles’ travel expenses.
All sessions will be held at the IACAA HQ in Springfield from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. All candidates are encouraged to bring their lunch.
The Illinois Community Action Development Corporation
The Illinois Community Action Development Corporation is a statewide community development organization that works through the Community Action Network to create affordable housing, create jobs, and engage in financial opportunities that strengthen communities and the wellbeing of individuals and families in need.
The Illinois Community Action Development Corporation fosters participation to create affordable housing and development opportunities so that individuals, families, and communities have a stable and more prosperous future.
Illinois Community Action Development Corporation (ICADC) is a subsidiary of Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies. Formed in 1999, the organization was created to expand affordable housing stock within Illinois.
By providing training and technical assistance to member Community Action Agencies, ICADC has within both the disciplines of Community Development and Economic Development to aid in increasing the opportunities for vulnerable Illinois’ populations including low-income families, veterans, seniors, and those living with mental illnesses.
One of the main ways ICADC has captured its mission is through the development of affordable housing. With developments in West Frankfort, Beardstown, and Hoopeston, ICADC has diligently worked to ensure stable, affordable homes to families residing in rural Illinois counties. Through partnerships with our member agencies, we have worked to make sure that these families receive the services they need to live and prosper within the community they choose.
Commonwealth Edison Rate Relief Programs
Residential Special Hardship Fund
The Residential Special Hardship (RSH) Fund grant is a ComEd CARE program that provides assistance to address special hardship cases for households in need. The RSH grant provides a variable credit, up to $500 for households with a demonstrated hardship case that is not addressed by other ComEd Care programs. In all cases, the applicant must provide proof of hardship along with the demonstrated need based upon income level (up to 250% of the federal poverty level) and finances. With the help of the Illinois Community Action Network, the RSH Fund typically awards just over $7 million in grant credits to more than 20,000 eligible households annually.
- Medical Hardships
- Military Hardships
- Senior Hardships
- Disability Hardships
- Loss of Employment
- Unexpected Loss of Income
- Low/No Income
- Family Crisis
- Property Damage
- Victimized by Criminal Activity
- Subsidized Housing
- Transitional Situations
Low Income Kit Energy (LIKE) Program
The Low Income Kit Energy (LIKE) program works to provide qualified households with a kit containing energy-saving devices such as a Smart Power Strip, CFL light bulbs, LED light bulbs, and educational information on additional energy-saving actions customers can take to reduce their energy bills.
The University of Illinois at Chicago Energy Resources Center (UIC-ERC) manages the LIKE program in partnership with the Illinois Community Action Network. The Community Action Network serves as implementers of the program in the ComEd service territory. The LIKE program targets households who have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The program typically distributes over 40,000 kits to eligible households annually.
DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH
The Division of Mental Health (DMH)’s Bridge Subsidy Program provides tenant-based rental assistance opportunities to hundreds of high priority DMH consumers who can and should be living in their own housing units in the community. The DMH Bridge Subsidy Program provides a rental subsidy to act as a “bridge” between the time that the consumer is ready to move into his or her own unit until the time he or she can secure permanent rental subsidy, such as a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher or comparable rental subsidy. The DMH Bridge Subsidy Program is deliberately designed as a Housing Choice Voucher “look-a-like” program to help ensure that the transition from the Bridge Subsidy to a permanent voucher is as close to seamless as possible.
IACAA acts in the role of Subsidy Administrator for 96 of the 102 counties located within the State of Illinois. IACAA works daily with Department of Mental Health Case Managers, Local Housing Authorities, and Landlords to locate safe, decent, and affordable housing throughout the state. As the Subsidy Administrator, IACAA provides monthly rental subsidies, which are paid at 70% of an individual’s monthly income and in some cases 100%.
RURAL HOUSING SUPPORT PROGRAM
The Rental Housing Support Program helps localities address the need for decent, affordable, and permanent rental housing. Under the Rental Housing Support Program, the Illinois Housing Development Authority administers grants to local Community Action Agencies to provide subsidies to landlords that will make housing units affordable to extremely and severely low income households.
A combination of low wages and limited availability of affordable rental housing units require many families and households throughout Illinois to pay a disproportionate share of their income for basic housing. Simultaneously, there are households in the state that face additional difficulty in finding affordable housing due to disabilities or special needs of family members.
The Rental Housing Support Program promotes permanent housing through the funding of rent subsidies for these “rent burdened” households. Eligible participants pay rent based on their income (approximately 30% of the gross income). The Rental Housing Support Program pays the balance of the rent to the landlord.
SNAP BARRIER REDUCTION PILOT
The SNAP Barrier Reduction Pilot is a program designed to prevent homelessness and housing insecurity and improve employment outcomes among people who have lost or are at risk of losing SNAP benefits. The targeted demographic of this programs are individuals struggling to meet strict federal work requirements or who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Eligible individuals and families are those receiving SNAP benefits who experience a barrier or multiple barriers to gaining or retaining employment. Eligible individuals are at risk of housing instability or another emergency situation which would create a further barrier to gaining or retaining employment. This fund is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and will be available to anyone on SNAP who would benefit from barrier reduction support.