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It has been 6 years since the State of Illinois formed the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty to help reduce poverty throughout Illinois. In 2010 the Commission issued its recommended strategy in Building a Pathway to Dignity & Work and has since been monitoring Illinois's progress toward the goal of cutting extreme poverty in half. In this 2014 Annual Report, the Commission provides an analysis of progress toward that goal over the past year and recommendations for 2015.
This report examines an important aspect of economic racial disparity -- disparity in credit scores. The relationship between credit scores and minority presence illustrates a clear racial disparity in credit in Illinois. Though many related factors help to explain some variability in credit scores, even when controlling for them, racial differences in credit persist.Having a credit score is important for gaining access to things like education, better jobs, homeownership -- the very things that feed financial and social opportunity. While credit disparities exist in large measure due to the same historic policies that have limited access to broader financial opportunities for minorities, credit scores are particularly important to consider because they also impact individuals' future financial opportunities.In effect, credit scores can create a trap, one that minorities are more likely to fall into, thereby feeding the continued growth of income and wealth disparities.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a financially secure future for themselves and their families. Access to equal opportunities is the cornerstone of America's core values and is also a necessity to growing a healthy economy. Unfortunately, the reality is a far shot from that piece of the American dream. Income and wealth inequality are at levels that we have not seen since the Great Depression. The Great Recession further expanded an already growing racial wealth gap. Many families have little hope of upward mobility. In fact, day-to-day life is more expensive for those struggling to make ends meet due to unequal access to the tools we all need to build financially secure futures. This includes a basic checking & savings account, a retirement savings account, a college savings account, home and student loans with low interest rates, and a solid credit score that gives you access to these important loans. Many households of color have been denied access to these crucial financial tools needed to build credit and put them on a path to financial health. As this report will show, this inequity has led to a stark racial disparity in credit scores as well as related indicators, such as education level, student loan debt, employment, income, homeownership, and home loan debt. Fortunately, there are programs and policies that can help close the gap and therefore strengthen the economy, which are also outlined in this report.
These poverty fact sheets provide data for each Illinois House District on poverty, extreme poverty, homelessness, health care, affordable housing, retirement savings, and more.
These poverty fact sheets provide data for each Illinois Senate District on poverty, extreme poverty, homelessness, health care, affordable housing, retirement savings, and more.
Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, prompting the creation of dozens of federal programs aimed at alleviating poverty and striking at its roots. Today, just how much progress has been made? Download this infographic to find out.
This infographic shows how the basic costs of living in Illinois for a family with one worker and two children far outsize a minimum wage budget. Minimum wage workers in Illinois earn $1430 a month. For families with only one worker, making ends meet on minimum wage isn't just hard, it's impossible. With costs of living so high, a family of three in Illinois would need to spend 3x their monthly income to live without unsustainable sacrifices.
Utilizing the Human Rights Framework: Lessons Learned from the From Poverty to Opportunity Campaign: Realizing Human Rights in IllinoisJune 27, 2013
In response to the growth and deepening of poverty in Illinois and the collateral human rights consequences, in December of 2006, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights initiated the "From Poverty to Opportunity Campaign: Realizing Human Rights in Illinois". Working in collaboration with a coalition of community members, advocates, organizers, faith-based institutions, and policy leaders, the campaign advocated state-wide for an improved response to the growing problem of poverty in Illinois. This paper documents some of the lessons Heartland Alliance has learned while using the human rights framework to build and advance a campaign to eliminate extreme poverty in Illinois.
The housing crisis stripped many families of their wealth, especially those in communities of color. This presentation will provide an update on foreclosure legislation in Illinois.
The housing crisis stripped many families of their wealth, especially those in communities of color. This presentation will examine when and for whom homeownership is the right wealth building strategy.
A good credit score allows consumers access to the necessary resources and tools they need to build financially secure futures. Credit is a powerful tool helping individuals move from saving and investing to owning. This presentation shows how Experian RentBureau helps customers by including rent payments in credit scores.
This annual report includes a letter from the commission's co-chairs, an overview of the progress being made to eliminate extreme poverty in Illinois, recommendations for future activities, state budget, legislation information, list of members of the commission and testimonies from public hearings.
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