Illinois remains in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. As housing costs escalate and household incomes stagnate, more Illinois families struggle to secure safe and affordable homes. Between 2000 and 2005, the Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Illinois rose 11.4%, while median Illinois household income fell 9.8%. During the same time period, the portion of Illinois families living in poverty increased from 10.3% to 11.9%. Exacerbating this crisis is the fact that housing assistance programs face consistent shortfalls or reductions in funding that prevent them from meeting the needs of thousands of Illinois families who require help. Continuing declines in funding levels for housing assistance programs, combined with new rules that affect the funding and flexibility of local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), have resulted in the perpetuation of long waiting lists with thousands of eligible Illinois families unable to get the housing assistance they need.