belt 032019EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) expressed his support for the third pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’s agenda: creating economic access, equity and opportunity for Black Illinoisans. He particularly supports increasing low-income, permanent and affordable housing options for Illinois families. 

“The gap between African American and white homeownership is larger today than when the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. This has contributed to a racial wealth gap—nearly 1,000%—between median white and African American households," Belt said. “Because home ownership is how most families save and build wealth, the disparity in home ownership is a central driver of the racial wealth gap. We need to continue to advocate so every Illinoisan has access to housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy.”

Thursday, the Illinois Senate Financial Institutions, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Local Government and Executive Committees held a joint hearing dedicated to affordable housing, a major component in achieving economic access, equity and opportunity for Black Illinoisans and eliminating systemic racism.

At the hearing, a number of affordable housing advocates presented data regarding the importance of expanding housing options for low-income families, including the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Action Center on Race and the Economy, and a professor from the Department of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

The committee also discussed exploring techniques to remedy decades of redlining and predatory lending. 

Find a full schedule of Senate hearings and view proceedings online here.