Governor's Housing Task Force holds first meeting - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Governor's Housing Task Force holds first meeting

The Task Force created to implement the Gov. Blagojevich's new housing policy is struggling with how to "seize the moment" without losing sight of its charge to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003, in her capacity as Chair of the Gov. Rod Blagojevich's new Housing Task Force, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director Kelly King Dibble convened the first meeting of an historic effort to formalize an Illinois housing policy.

The agenda was straightforward: Ms. Dibble and her staff reviewed the way Illinois currently approaches housing policy and planning and outlined IHDA's vision for moving ahead. But, the questions were monumental: What will the new approach and new plan look like?  What working groups need to begin meeting to answer outstanding questions and build consensus on how to forward the governor's new housing policy?

A meeting schedule for the year was disseminated for the full Task Force, its Executive Committee, and its Intergovernmental Committee.  (For updates to the above documents, visit www.ihda.org.)  The working groups will be convened by members of the Task Force throughout the year to gather needed data and identify strategies for overcoming current obstacles.

The subsequent conversation of the first Task Force meeting suggested a healthy tension between competing objectives. On one hand, the Executive Order clearly charges the Task Force to develop a "Comprehensive Plan," i.e., to proceed holistically and not in a piece-meal manner. On the other hand, there is tremendous momentum among municipal leaders, housing advocates, and others for movement on initiatives already underway, and the Task Force is well positioned to forward discrete programs moving slowly through the pipeline.

Before the end of the year, Ms Dibble invited Task Force members to submit recommendations on how to best structure the working groups, and how or whether to work in the upcoming legislative session. 

The first meeting of the Executive Committee will be Jan. 7, 2003.  Its goal will be to resolve the above structural issues, so the Task Force can begin a productive year.

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