Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has always agreed with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s assertion that a budget is a moral document and reveals our values. We applaud the governor’s leadership and support his efforts to close corporate tax loopholes and move forward with a plan to decouple our state tax code. We believe this is a step in the right direction.
We recognize the challenges posed by the current budgetary constraints due to the pandemic, the missed opportunity to pass a progressive income tax, and ongoing budgetary difficulties. But CCH believes that in these unprecedented times, we need to ensure that those who are most in need are provided with the proper supports. Flat operational spending does not account for inflation or the rise in the number of individuals accessing social services. We are on the precipice of a housing crisis, and we have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that people in need of housing supports have access to these services.
Gov. Pritzker emphasized “Homelessness is never acceptable.” His inclusion of additional eviction prevention funding is absolutely a big step in the right direction and will help ensure people do not experience homelessness because of the pandemic. We will not know the final toll of the pandemic for some time, and along with eviction prevention, we will also need additional revenue to ensure we are caring for the entire person.
Without providing new revenue options or any additional funding to human services, we fear that people who are most in need will go unserved or under-serviced. CCH will continue to advocate with the General Assembly to propose progressive revenue options that adequately fund homeless and housing services to ensure that every person and family in need receives necessary resources and services.