A 2002 research study commissioned by MPC for the CHA examines a critical issue in the CHA Plan for Transformation: maintaining contact with residents who move into private housing using a temporary Housing Choice Voucher with a right to return to CHA housing.
MPC released Temporary
Relocation, Permanent Choice: Serving Families with Vouchers During the Chicago
Housing Authority (CHA) Plan for Transformation today, to recommend procedures to ensure that residents
have regular access to full
information from the CHA. This should include: progress of the Plan for Transformation,
how to make an informed choice about their long-term housing prospects and all
services essential to remaining lease compliant. Although there is strong interest
in encouraging families with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) to return to
CHA housing, success in this aspect of the Plan for Transformation should be measured
not by numbers returning, but by the extent to which families have received all
information necessary to make informed decisions, and whether they received all
the services they needed to remain in compliance with a CHA lease. Levels of informed
choice and lease compliance are the appropriate
of goals met.
"The current leadership of the CHA is undertaking the
largest overhaul of public housing ever, while they're combating a negative
reputation — not of their own making, but nevertheless pervasive," said Kale
Williams, one of the authors of the report and
founding CEO of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open
Communities. "The recommendations we've outlined and the new programs CHA staff have
already set in motion will be essential to providing meaningful choices and support
services to CHA residents, while improving public perceptions of the CHA itself,"
Temporary Relocation, Permanent Choice documents the innumerable challenges
faced by residents during relocation, and illustrates how effective communication
can complement the other services CHA provides to ensure residents make good
housing choices. As such, the findings have implications beyond the original
assignment and speak to the broader CHA relocation and service delivery
MPC will continue to monitor the
progress of the Plan for Transformation — specifically, new development,
relocation, services, communications and accountability. Ultimately, the success of the Plan will be gauged on
the viability of communities in a) the new mixed-income sites, b) the
renovated properties housing primarily former public housing residents, and c)
the neighborhoods where former CHA households relocate.
For more information and
resources on the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation, visit MPC's
public housing page.