A unique regional collaboration has been formed to assist families moving from welfare to work with housing assistance. Partners include the Chicago Housing Authority, Housing Authority of Cook County, Lake County Housing Authority, DuPage Housing Author
Although Illinois has the 3rd highest Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) population, only 16 percent of the state's welfare recipients receive housing assistance. In contrast, 23 percent of TANF families nationwide receive housing assistance.
This disparity has been felt most acutely in the Chicago metropolitan area, a region that is home to approximately 74 percent of Illinois' TANF clients, 58 percent of whom live in the City of Chicago. Another obstacle these families face is our region’s spatial mismatch between concentrations of poverty – in areas often afflicted with high crime and social and racial segregation – and job growth corridors, which over several decades have been moving further out of the city.
MetroLinks for Jobs and Housing (MetroLinks) is a pilot project designed to address the challenges facing families, government, and service providers in a new welfare environment, including the regional factors that can help or hamper the efforts of families who seek affordable housing and jobs. MetroLinks represents an unprecedented collaboration between four public housing authorities (PHAs) (Chicago, Cook County, DuPage and Lake County), the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the City of Chicago Department of Housing (DOH), the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (MOWD) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC).
For more information on MetroLinks and related information on the region's rental market, see Related Resources to the left.