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
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.