KANKAKEE, Ill. (March 29, 2021) – The City of Kankakee’s Economic and Community Development Agency (ECDA) has been accepted into the National League of Cities (NLC) 2021 Eviction Prevention Learning Lab (EPLL). This is a nationwide peer-to-peer network for cities and their partners to gain exposure to best practices, policies, and tools to prevent evictions. Kankakee is one of only 30 cities nationwide selected to participate, and expects to develop and refine equitable eviction interventions.
In December 2020 the ECDA team, led by Staff Accountant and Compliance Officer, Jonathan Shinabarger, mailed a survey to landlords within the city limits to learn about their properties. The team distributed 352 surveys and received 66 responses.
“We learned from the survey responses that as of February 2021 there are 51 landlords that have a total of $836,597 in unpaid rent,” explained ECDA Director Brewer-Watson. “This is just a snapshot of a much larger crisis that we are preparing for once the eviction moratorium is lifted.”
The City will be partnering with multiple regional stakeholders to attend these meetings. During EPLL participants will gain access to resources such as interactive virtual programming with subject matter experts and small group workshops to discuss eviction prevention tactics and strategies. ECDA has committed to improving its gathering of eviction data and communicating rights and responsibilities to both landlords and tenants.
“Our team is developing a comprehensive housing strategy this year, and as part of that we want to know what’s happening with evictions,” Shinabarger stated. “The EPLL should give us the tools and resources we need to research new potential city-wide eviction programs or policies, ultimately improving housing security for the 50 percent of Kankakee residents who rent.”
“By applying for the Eviction Prevention Learning Lab, the City of Kankakee will continue its commitment to operationalizing racial equity and embedding it into local eviction strategies. With the concern of an eviction crisis on the rise, the City hopes the EPLL can help staff and partners gain more capacity to prevent and assist during this crisis while improving overall housing stability within the City,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.
If an individual or organization is interested in participating in this national program, please contact Jon Shinabarger at 815.933.0506 or by email at email@example.com.
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About the Economic and Community Development Agency (ECDA):
The Kankakee Economic and Community Development (ECDA) is a local government agency whose mission is to improve the lives of Kankakee residents and enhance the economic vitality of communities through housing, economic development and community development. The ECDA administers programs that serve the neighborhoods and residents of the City of Kankakee provided by federal, state and local funding. For more information, contact ECDA at 815-933-0506, Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit our website at https://ecda.citykankakee-il.gov/.
About the City of Kankakee, Illinois:
The City of Kankakee is dedicated to protecting, building and nurturing the community while enhancing lives. We are a historic, vibrant and active riverfront community. We continue to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow and thrive. Embracing our diversity, we strive to be progressive, inclusive and innovative. For more information on the City of Kankakee, please visit the website at www.citykankakee-il.gov.