Plan For Transformation/plan Forward
In 2000, the CHA began its Plan For Transformation, which called for the demolition of all of its gallery high-rise buildings and proposed a renovated housing portfolio totaling 25,000 units. In April 2013, CHA created Plan Forward, the next phase of redeveloping public housing in Chicago. The plan includes the rehabilitation of other scattered-site, senior, and lower-density properties construction of mixed-income housing increasing economic sales around CHA developments and providing educational and job training to residents with Section 8 vouchers. The Plan for Transformation has also been plagued with problems. While demolition began almost immediately, CHA was slow to develop mixed-income units or provide Section 8 vouchers as planned. In 2015, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development criticized the Chicago Housing Authority for accumulating a cash reserve of $440 million at a time when more than a quarter million people were on the agency’s waiting list for affordable housing, and a large number of units remained vacant. In March 2017, only 8% of the 17,000 demolished households had been replaced with mixed-income units. More than 20 years after the initial plan was announced, Chicago MayorLori Lightfoot announced in June 2021 that finishing the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green alone will take at least another 12 years and could total upwards of $1 billion.
About The Chicago Heights Housing Authority
The Chicago Heights Housing Authority, located in Chicago Heights, IL, is a government agency that operates and manages public housing in Cook County. The Housing Authority oversees low-income housing, including the application process, eligibility guidelines, and related resources. For example, Chicago Heights residents can receive subsidies for low-income housing, access public housing programs, and learn about other resources for eligible Cook County residents from the Housing Authority.
You may contact the Housing Authority for questions about:
- How to qualify for Chicago Heights low income housing
- Applying for housing subsidies in Chicago Heights
- Public housing programs in Chicago Heights
- The locations of low-income housing units
- Chicago Heights Section 8 landlord information
Ann Mckenzie Chief Development Officer
Ann McKenzie is the Chief Development Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority. She has more than 20 years of experience developing affordable housing, including public housing.
Ms. McKenzie joined the CHA as Senior Director of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program in October 2015. Before joining CHA, Ms. McKenzie served as Director of Development for The Habitat Company where she focused on affordable real estate development with an emphasis on mixed-income public housing in both Chicago and Detroit. Before that, she worked for Bethel New Life where her interest in affordable housing was sparked.
Ms. McKenzie earned her bachelor of science degree in speech from Northwestern University and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. Ms. McKenzie is active in Chicago volunteer roles. She has held various volunteer roles including PTA president, Local School Council chair/vice chair and co-chaired a capital campaign to restore a Chicago-landmarked church.
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Sign Up For A New Participant Orientation
All participants must attend an orientation to enroll in the program.
Orientations are usually held at HCP’s downtown offices, which are easily accessible by CTA “L” Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, and Brown lines.
228 S. Wabash Ave, Suite 500 Chicago, IL 60604
Orientation schedules vary each month. One-on-one orientations are available, as needed and based on staff availability. Call to enroll.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all new participant orientations will be held over the phone or online until further notice.
To enroll, click here to fill out our
Message From Echa Executive Director Tia Cauley
Welcome to the new East Chicago Housing Authority website we hope that it provides the information you are seeking and is user-friendly.
ECHA is moving forward to accomplish great things. The ECHA team is dedicated to modernizing our apartments, creating new affordable housing opportunities, and assisting our residents in reaching self-sufficiency goals. We hope to accomplish these important goals by working closely with the City and other local agencies to pool resources and capitalize on the momentum of redevelopment opportunities, such as the North Harbor Revitalization. We are committed to establishing new local, regional and national partnerships to be an active partner in the Citys vision for the waterfront. As such, we are in the planning phases of a major redevelopment effort.
The ECHA team is working to bring in private resources to invest in our communities and is continuously looking for ways to operate more efficiently. The uncertain economic times has made the way we carry out our mission more critical than ever. We are working to ensure that we maximize the funding available to improve the properties we own, explore new development opportunities in a wider range of neighborhoods and expand our partnerships with others who share our vision.
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Chicago Housing Authority Program Saves Woman 73 From Homelessness
CHICAGO She was living in shelters, for a year and a half, with no privacy and up to 20 people in a room with you at a time.
That was the reality for a 73-year-old Edgewater woman, until a case manager who knew about a Chicago Housing Authority emergency voucher program changed her life. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot told her story.
Joe Ann Wilson loves to nurture her plants in her new apartment. She’s lived there for nearly five months.
“It’s just wonderful to have a place of your own,” Wilson said.
She said she lost her previous apartment, where she lived for nearly two decades.
“The landlord decided that he wanted more rent and he asked me to move,” she recalled.
Le Mignot: “And that was basically it?”
Wilson: “Yeah, from then, I was homeless.”
Wilson spent about a year and a half in different shelters. There were times when she thought she wouldn’t make it.
“Sometimes I thought about, maybe I should just leave here,” she said. “Something in me kept reaching, because I knew there had to be something better.”
A case manager changed her life completely, by helping her get an apartment in Edgewater.
“She game me hope,” Wilson said. “She gave me love.”
Wilson is talking about Lakyna Dorrough, a rapid rehousing case manager.
“I’m so proud of her,” Dorrough said fighting back tears. “So very proud and I’m happy that we stepped into each others’ lives because she showed me why I do this.”
How The Program Works
CHAs Housing Choice Voucher Program plays a vital role in housing families with children, the elderly and people with disabilities across Chicago. Using federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , the voucher program helps participant families pay for housing in the private market, such as apartments, duplexes, condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes. Participant families contribute 30-40% of their income toward rent and utilities and CHA pays the remainder directly to the property owner.
Since there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, CHA uses a waiting list to administer the program. Currently, the HCV wait list is closed. Notice will be posted through a variety of media outlets when it reopens.
Generally, when a voucher becomes available, the family at the top of the waiting list is contacted and screened for eligibility Once selected from the waitlist, the family follows the steps outlined below:
After admission to the program, families must re-establish eligibility approximately every two years. All household members must follow the terms of the lease with the property owner and CHAs Family Obligations to remain in good standing on the program.
For a high-level overview of the program, see the HCV At a Glance Flyer .
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Tracey Scott Chief Executive Officer
In 2020, the Chicago Housing Authority Board appointed Tracey Scott as chief executive officer of the nations third largest housing authority, serving 64,000 families in Chicago. Under her leadership, CHA has closed $270 million in public housing rehabilitation projects and new mixed-income developments. With a vision of neighborhood revitalization as a goal, CHA has expanded education and employment services for residents to create more pathways for families to achieve economic independence.
Ms. Scott serves on the board of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and as President of the Moving to Work Collaborative. Before coming to CHA, Ms. Scott served in leadership positions with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Atlanta Housing, and AT& T. She has served in volunteer leadership roles with Partners for Home Atlanta, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis community advisory board, and Patelco Credit Union.
She holds degrees from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Emory University.
Gautreaux V Chicago Housing Authority
In 1966, Dorothy Gautreaux and other CHA residents brought a suit against the CHA in Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority. The suit charged racial discrimination by the housing authority for concentrating 10,000 public housing units in isolated Black neighborhoods. It claimed that the CHA and Housing and Urban Development had violated the U.S. Constitution and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It was a long-running case that in 1987 resulted in HUD taking over the CHA for over 20 years and the formation of the Gautreaux Project in which public housing families were relocated to the suburbs. The lawsuit was noted as the nation’s first major public housing desegregation lawsuit.
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Housing Choice Voucher Program
CHAs Housing Choice Voucher Program allows low-income families to rent quality housing in the private market via federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development . Through the HCV Program, CHA pays a portion of eligible families rent each month directly to the landlord. Families can use their vouchers to rent a house or apartment in the private market in neighborhoods across Chicago. Today, voucher holders live in every one of Chicagos 77 community areas. Because there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, CHA uses a waiting list to administer the program to eligible families
Take Advantage Of Other Program Benefits
Assistance in locating community resources and enrolling children in school
Community tours and unit search assistance
Up to $500 to be used toward a security deposit or move-in fee
Support and mediation of any problems during leasing, move-in, or afterward
Assistance in enrolling your Landlord in the Illinois Housing Opportunity Area Tax Abatement Program*
*The Illinois Housing Opportunity Area Tax Abatement Program allows landlords/building owners to decrease the property taxes of units leased to HCV holders up to 19 percent for up to ten years. Units must be located within state-designated Opportunity Areas and must be in compliance with all applicable local building codes. Be sure to mention this to landlords when searching for housing.
Landlords interested in participating in the program can contact our Real Estate Specialist, Jessie McDaniels at to find out how you can add your units to our list.
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Eric Garrett Chief Property And Asset Management Officer
Eric Garrett has served as Chief Property and Asset Management Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority since 2019. He has more than 20 years of property and asset management experience at the agency. He is responsible for the maintenance and high quality of CHAs housing stock.
Mr. Garrett oversees the departments of Asset Management and Operations, Building Operations, Housing Policy and Occupancy, Non-Residential Land and Space Management, and Safety and Security. He also supervises a team of Deputy Chiefs, Regional Directors, and Directors as well as other professional and support staff.
Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Garrett served as CHAs Deputy Chief Property Officer, managing the portfolio of CHAs traditional housing and RAD properties to ensure effective departmental operations and customer service. He also served as the agencys Director of Asset Management, supervising a team of Asset Managers and Quality Control Analysts and working with property managers, resident leaders, community stakeholders, HUD officials, and CHA staff.
Mr. Garrett is a U.S. Army veteran. He holds degrees from Illinois School of Commerce, Maryland University, and City Colleges of Chicago.
Chicago Housing Authority Mobility Counseling
In partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority, HCP works with families that have a Housing Choice Voucher by providing information and resources that support families looking to move to Mobility Areas. These are Chicago Community Areas that are lower poverty, below-median crime rates, and tend to have quality educational and employment choices. Through this program, families can use their subsidy not just to pay the rent, but to improve their lives. Families are given information on housing options throughout the region and support services once a move is made.
First-time voucher recipients, current HCV participants, or families porting in from another housing authority are all eligible to participate in the CHA/HCP Mobility Counseling Program.
See below for full eligibility requirements.
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Cheryl Burns Chief Housing Choice Voucher Officer
Cheryl Burns is the Chief Housing Choice Voucher Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority.
Ms. Burns is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Housing Choice Voucher program , the second-largest public housing voucher program in the United States with 47,000 vouchers. She also oversees the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure effective and efficient HCV operations.
Ms. Burns served as CHAs Program Integrity Manager, Senior Director and Deputy Chief Housing Officer for Operations and Compliance in which she managed the HCV budget, audits and procurement of Contracts and Supplies. She developed and monitored annual operating budgets and oversaw administrative processes such as software transition and training for CHAs systems of record.
Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Burns spent more than 10 years working in housing authority management, gaining extensive experience in program administration, evaluation, coaching, training and staff development. She served as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Park Forests HCV program and as Manager of Admissions and Occupancy for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, where she led the agency to a high-performer status on the SEMAP.
Ms. Burns holds a masters degree in Communications and Training from Governor’s State University and a bachelors degree in Marketing from Columbia College in Chicago.
Michael Moran Chief Financial Officer
Michael Moran is a financial professional with over 30 years of experience in developing and driving strategic goals with a focus on financial reporting and analysis, including consolidations, forecasting, capital and operating budgets, systems implementation, treasury functions, and risk management oversight. He has a record of developing and implementing innovative solutions utilizing a highly motivated team approach resulting in increased efficiency, internal control and overall performance for private, public and nonprofit organizations.
Prior to coming to CHA in 2012, where he first served as Budget Director and later as Deputy Chief Financial Officer before being named Chief Financial Officer in June 2017, Mr. Moran worked in the private and nonprofit sectors in a variety of industries as an accountant, treasurer and controller. He was the Treasurer/Director of Internal Reporting for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago where he was responsible for banking relationships, cash management, budgeting and served as an employee-member of the Investment Committee. Additionally, he served as the Controller at The Habitat Company, a major real estate development and management company headquartered in Chicago, where he was responsible for financial reporting, forecasting and directing annual audit and tax return preparation by multiple audit firms for over 100 real estate limited partnerships.
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About The Chicago Housing Authority
The Chicago Housing Authority, located in Chicago, IL, is a government agency that operates and manages public housing in Cook County. The Housing Authority oversees low-income housing, including the application process, eligibility guidelines, and related resources. For example, Chicago residents can receive subsidies for low-income housing, access public housing programs, and learn about other resources for eligible Cook County residents from the Housing Authority.
You may contact the Housing Authority for questions about:
- How to qualify for Chicago low income housing
- Applying for housing subsidies in Chicago
- Public housing programs in Chicago
- The locations of low-income housing units
- Chicago Section 8 landlord information