Housing for All

Finding affordable housing options in Illinois can be difficult for anyone, but can be made more difficult when mental health challenges are involved.  The Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, in their commitment to bettering lives, will come together to explain what tools are available to help Williams and Colbert Consent Decrees class members, as well as other households with disabilities who are of limited means, find housing.

The presentation will include an explanation of the Statewide Referral Network and how to register for it, an overview of ILHousingSearch.org, and a description of common types of rental assistance such as Section 811, Rental Housing Support, and housing vouchers.  The presentation will continue with an overview of the leasing process, with examples of challenges that can arise. The presentation will conclude with the opportunity for audience members to ask questions directly of State agencies.

Presenter Bios:

Alexandra L. Johnson began serving as the Olmstead Compliance Officer of the Illinois Department of Human Services on June 17th, 2019. After spending nearly, a decade working in public and social services in non-profit, private, and small businesses, Alexandra has maximized on her knowledge and passion for helping others in their journey of recovery and wellness and assisting them with uncapping their fullest potential. Alexandra holds a B.A. in Religion and Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a M.S.W. from Loyola University Chicago. Alexandra previously served as the Director of the Williams and Colbert Implementation at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare where she served as the leader for bringing positive change to the lives of over six hundred class members.

Todd Fuller began serving as the Housing/Employment First Coordinator at IDHS on July 1st, 2019.  For almost 20 years, he built his expertise in housing and supportive services for vulnerable populations in line with his belief that everyone has a right to a decent, safe, accessible, and affordable home of their own choosing. He worked his way up from front line staff to senior management and community leadership roles in the nonprofit sector during his time working with a variety of programs that included emergency shelter, homeless prevention, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, housing counseling, domestic violence counseling & legal advocacy, fair housing enforcement and education, and other poverty-fighting programs. Todd currently sits on the board of directors for DuPage Habitat for Humanity and previously served on the board of the Illinois Community Action Development Corporation.He earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University and his bachelor’s from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Liz Smith joined Illinois Housing Development Authority in February 2018 as the Assistant Director of Rental Assistance in the Asset Management department.  Liz has over 20 years of experience in the affordable housing industry.  She has had the opportunity to work in many capacities within the industry, to include City, State and Federal government, as well as for a private affordable housing developer and management agent.  Prior to joining IHDA, Liz was the Manager of Multifamily Program Compliance at the Colorado Housing Finance Authority where she led the Section 8 and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit compliance teams.  Prior to that position, she was a Manager of Multifamily Development at HUD, and the Director of Operations for a private property management company.