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Latinos Stand to Gain More Access to Affordable Housing

  ·  Savannah Clement

The CHA Waitlist Lottery Registration Opens:  Latinos Stand to Gain More Access to Affordable Housing

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is opening its waitlists for the first time in almost five years. Historically, Latinos have been underrepresented in CHA programs. With the waitlist opening, Latinos stand to gain more access to affordable housing.

Based on the Forum’s analysis of the 2012 CHA Annual Report and Census American Community Survey 2012 5 year data, 23 percent of Latinos are eligible for Family Public Housing and 22 percent of Latinos are eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program. Yet, they are only participating at ten percent and eight percent respectively. Additionally, based on U.S. Census data, more than half of Latino households in Chicago are renters and more than half of Latino renters are rent burdened – that means they pay more than 30 percent of their household income towards rent. Therefore, it is clear that there is a great need for more affordable housing in Chicago.

The CHA plans to open waitlists for three of its programs: Family Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (formerly Section 8), and Property Rental Assistance.

  • The Housing Choice Voucher waitlist is for those needing to obtain housing subsidies. The voucher is tied to a person or family. This affords a person/family mobility and the choice of where they would like to live in the private market, while only paying a portion of their income toward rent and the subsidy covering the remainder of the rental costs.
  • The Property Rental Assistance waitlist is for anyone interested in living in one of CHA’s subsidized private properties. As opposed to the Housing Choice Voucher program, this voucher (or subsidy) is tied to the unit instead of the person/family. Therefore, once a person leaves this unit, they will no longer receive rental assistance. The next person or family to move into the unit will receive the assistance.

In order to get on the waitlists, you must enter the waitlist lottery. You can register for the lottery for free between October 27 and November 24, at www.thechawaitlist.org. Only one person in a household needs to have an alien registration or social security number in order to register. However, any and all members of a household that are over the age of 18 are strongly encouraged to register for the lottery. The more people per household registered, and the more waitlists you register for, the more your chances increase of getting picked in the lottery.

If you need assistance with registering for the lottery, please call the CHA at 312-971-7700, or visit any of the CHA-funded direct service providers.

We are asking everyone to please be aware of scams around the waitlist lottery registration. There have been reports of people and agencies charging money and saying they are able to register and get people on the waitlist. This is fraud and illegal. The waitlist lottery registration is FREE.

Here is a list of some of Latino-serving direct service providers being funded by the CHA to do outreach and technical assistance:

If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Savannah Clement.