The Keeping the Promise Campaign is an effort to drop homelessness in Chicago and dramatically increase access to affordable housing at no cost to Chicago’s City Government through reforming the Chicago Housing Authority.
Reforming the Chicago Housing Authority is the key to ending homelessness in Chicago by holding the Chicago Housing Authority to higher standards about CHA’s use of federal and city funds, we can literally provide housing to tens of thousands of Chicago families currently struggling to provide their children with a decent, stable home.
According to CHA’s latest financial report (FY2012), the Chicago Housing Authority is sitting on surplus cash of more than $432 million— To put that in perspective, CHA’s cash stockpile is larger than the whole City of Chicago’s budget deficit for 2014.
The CHA has accumulated this cash surplus by deciding to circulate 13,500 fewer housing vouchers than HUD has funded CHA to provide annually.
In addition, CHA leaves thousands of its physical public housing units vacant year after year, and CHA’s progress in rebuilding public housing has plummeted since 2011.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of families and seniors languish on CHA’s waiting lists. Many sleep in their cars or on the streets, find refuge in a homeless shelter, or double up with family members to survive—- all while public funding intended to help them continues to pile up, with no plan and no explanation.
It doesn’t have to be this way.