Governor JB Pritzker’s administration on Tuesday announced two new programs to encourage home ownership by providing down payment assistance through IHDA, the Illinois Housing Development Authority. One is specifically for homebuyers with student debt and the other is apparently intended to help Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

Are we really doing anybody a favor by getting them into the Illinois housing market?

Confiscatory property taxes have hammered Illinois homeowners by robbing them of equity, particularly in minority and working class areas. Illinois homeowners are a quarter trillion dollars poorer than they would have been had their homes appreciated at the national average over ten years. That’s from our earlier report completed with the help of Zillow economists. It’s $1.3 million for every mile from here to the moon. There is no plan or idea of any kind under discussion in Springfield to reduce property taxes.

How much will the program cost? Pritzker’s announcement didn’t say though, mercifully, the programs appear to be fairly small, offering assistance to up to 7,000 homebuyers.

These two new programs are variations of similar ones offered through IHDA for decades by various administrations. Six years ago we criticized former Governor Pat Quinn’s, which was an obvious vote-buying scheme.

What has the default rate been on those programs? Good luck finding out. We tried earlier but got stonewalled with unreturned phone calls and a nothing-to-provide answer to a FOIA request.

And you gotta love this reasoning for the program offered by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin): “Since staying at home is such an important factor in the fight against COVID-19, it is imperative to find a way to help disadvantaged people afford a home.”

With vaccines coming within a month, she must be quite optimistic about how quickly the subsidized home purchases will close.

-Mark Glennon

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Joe Blow
1 month ago

Too much student debt weighing you down? Well, please strap yourself to the anchor that is Illinois public finance burden on top of it, pleeeeease!

1 month ago

We worried yesterday about evictions from rental apartments. The “home ownership” mantra is a fantasy that enables Fanny Mae and investment bankers to skin and skim the populace and the economy. It provides the illusion of doing something while kicking the can or box or tank of problems down the road to a more serious eviction issue that is without solution. It’s said that Presidents want wars or confrontations to distract voters. Governors look for something (anything) to distract voters from the real problems that they can’t solve. Most people need a place to live. For that they need a… Read more »

1 month ago

The program will benefit Illinois sellers. I’m for anything that makes it easier to unload your home on unsuspecting, unknowledgeable victims. Those are the only kind of people that would be foolish enough to buy a home in Illinois. This program should be expanded so it’s easier for all knowledgeable homeowners to find buyers/suckers.

1 month ago

When does it end? All of the above promotes slums! ☹️🔔

1 month ago
Reply to  Eddie

Communists love slums

Gay Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron

I like Twitter.

Bi Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  Gay Guy

I like Twitter and open minded people.

1 month ago

Let’s see: SALT cap, stagnant home values, less flexibility to leave Illinois on a whim. What’s not to like?

1 month ago

Pay off all debt before buying a house.

Is the State going to inform the borrowers about the high property taxes and state and local government debt in Illinois, compared to other states?


Will the State advise that prospective buyers look at property appreciation or depreciation?

How about the southwestern Cook County suburbs where homes have depreciated or suffered very little appreciation.

The programs are duds.

Buyer beware.

There is a big red flag flying over Illinois.

1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

One more thing. Will the state advise people that their purchase is just an ATM machine with almost unlimited funds over time whether you are underwater or home is paid off for all the taxing bodies?

Old Spartan
1 month ago

These two programs are gimmicks to pander to two small political constituencies. IHDA first did single family homebuyer programs in 1982 when double digit prime rate and mortgage rates were the norm. The programs were intended to help provide lower interest rates to buyers who needed it and could not afford rates in the low or mid teens from private sector lenders. Presently, with mortgage rates at all time lows, there is no need for subsidizing interest rates. FHA and VA rates are so low that almost any first time homebuyer can qualify for a rate that has never been… Read more »

Ex Illini
1 month ago

This is just a chance for JB to talk about anything other than the fiscal disaster over which he rules with an iron fist. The program is worthless.

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex Illini

And a chance to distract from the veterans he’s murdered