Day: March 23, 2020

The Chicago Housing Authority Customer Service Support COVID-19 Update

Dear CHA Applicant:
To ensure the health and safety of applicants and staff with respect to the evolving COVID-19 crisis, CHA’s Client Center at 60 E. Van Buren (60605) is closed to the public. Previous in-person support is now available online or by telephone only.
Online Support
  • Applicants may check their waitlist status or update their application (e.g., contact information, preferences, waitlist selection, etc.) by visiting:
  • Applicants may submit their waitlist inquiries to:
Telephone Support
  • Applicants with waitlist related inquiries may call:
    • Public Housing                               312-913-7400
    • Project Based Voucher (PBV)      312-935-2600
CHA will continue to offer resources and support you. We thank you in advance for your patience in adjusting to our online and telephone customer service support.



Mayor’s Press Office

CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the nomination of Tracey Scott to serve as CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). As CEO, Scott will leverage her more than two decades of experience to lead the CHA into its next chapter as a principal developer and provider of affordable housing for communities across Chicago.

Strengthening the CHA is a critical component of the Mayor’s work to improve the housing ecosystem in Chicago.

Scott has over 25 years of progressive leadership experience working to expand access to housing for low-income across the country. She currently serves as the Interim Executive Director and CEO for the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and has held prior senior roles with the Atlanta Housing Authority.

“Tracey’s breadth of experience and dedication for improving public housing make her a perfect fit to lead the Chicago Housing Authority as we embark on our ambitious agenda to transform our city’s economic landscape,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Stable housing is a first step toward creating opportunity and building a future for Chicago’s communities, and I look forward to working closely with Tracey and the team at CHA to provide access to safe, affordable housing for all our residents.”

At the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), Scott oversees a team of 300 to ensure the delivery of housing programs and services for more than 26,000 seniors and families. Under her leadership, the MPHA developed a new public housing community for homeless families, combined with services from the county. Scott also initiated MPHA’s first project utilizing tax credits in a $26 million rehab of a 184-unit property under HUD’s RAD program.

“I’m honored to be nominated by Mayor Lightfoot for this role, and very excited to begin serving the CHA, its residents and the City of Chicago,” said Scott. “I look forward to bringing new ideas, innovation, and perspective to the CHA, and to work alongside city leaders and community members to increase partnerships and housing solutions that will help more low-income families and children in Chicago to thrive.”

As Vice President of Innovation and Policy for the Atlanta Housing Authority, Scott developed agency-wide supportive housing programming and led the administration of the Section 8 voucher program serving more than 10,000 families.

“The CHA Board of Commissioners is impressed with Tracey’s extensive work to improve public housing,” said CHA Board Chairperson Angela Hurlock. “We are looking forward to the CHA’s future with Tracey at the helm and will work with her to ensure that our families, veterans, seniors, and most vulnerable residents have the opportunity to secure housing across Chicago.”

As CEO, Scott will continue the agency’s strong performance on housing development, pursuing innovative development strategies that support residents and communities across the city. CHA’s Acting CEO, James L. Bebley, is expected to stay on as Chief Operating Officer to the agency.

“I want to thank James Bebley for stepping up during this transitional period to ensure that the CHA continued its mission of expanding housing opportunities throughout Chicago,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Together, Tracey and James will advance the City’s goal of affordable housing for all residents.”

“Tracey’s experiences and body of work makes her well-prepared for this role,” said Alderman Harry Osterman, Chairman of the Committee on Housing and Real Estate. “I look forward to working with her to provide affordable housing throughout our wards to ensure our families, veterans, seniors, and most vulnerable residents can secure housing.”

Scott will draw on her experiences from Minneapolis and Atlanta to foster public-private partnerships at the CHA in order to invest in new housing developments and opportunities throughout the City, maintain relationships with federal regulators, and align the agency to better serve the City’s residents.

“We feel that Tracey brings a wealth of knowledge to CHA as a well-rounded and committed advocate working to increase housing options for people,” said Francine

Washington, Chairperson of the Central Advisory Council and a public housing resident who also serves on the CHA Board. “We thank Mayor Lightfoot for nominating a strong leader.”

Scott’s nomination as CEO is pending approval by the CHA Board of Commissioners, which is expected to consider her nomination at its meeting on March 17th.

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About CHA:
As the second largest public housing authority in the country, CHA has a $1 billion operating budget and serves more than 63,000 low-income families across the city through the ownership of more than 21,000 public housing units and the management of 47,000 Housing Choice Vouchers which are provided to renters living in all 77 community areas of the City. Over the last few years, CHA, with its partners, has delivered, preserved, has under construction or approved more than 3,100 units of affordable housing in mixed-income developments.



Mayor’s Press Office

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Chicago Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Marisa Novara, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Acting CEO James Bebley, Alds. Walter Burnett, Jr. (27) and Harry Osterman (48), Richard Burns, President and CEO, The NHP Foundation, and preservation advocates to celebrate the reopening of the renovated and restored landmark building, The Mark Twain, one of the largest remaining single room occupancy (SRO) affordable housing developments on Chicago’s Near North Side.

“This project is a win-win for Chicago, providing the Near North Side nearly 150 affordable apartment units, while also restoring one of the landmarks of this community and one of the largest remaining affordable housing developments in this area,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Our future as a city rests in keeping Chicago affordable, and our goal is keeping buildings like this from being the exception. By investing in places like The Mark Twain, we are keeping our families stable, allowing our residents and businesses to thrive, and ensuring Chicago remains a place where everyone can succeed.”

The $54.3 million renovation at 111 W. Division Street consists of 148 apartments, each equipped with rehabilitated private bathrooms and the addition of private kitchenettes. Other enhancements include all new plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems; a rooftop deck, restoration of the vintage facade and lobby and 9,600 square feet of upgraded retail space on the ground floor.

“Single Room Occupancy units are precious, and we are honored to have partnered with the NHP Foundation to preserve 148 units,” Commissioner Novara said. “In a part of town where there’s so little affordable housing, the renovation and restoration of The Mark Twain is a multi-pronged win and something truly worth celebrating.”

Rental assistance in the form of project-based vouchers will be provided by the CHA for each of the 148 units at the new Mark Twain, ensuring long-term affordability.

Fifty residents who lived at the Mark Twain before the rehabilitation project began have returned to the renovated and restored building. The remaining apartments will be leased to people from the CHA waitlist.

“Developments such as the historic Mark Twain highlight the range of CHA’s investment in housing and communities over the past several years,” said Acting CHA CEO Bebley. “We’d like to thank Mayor Lightfoot for her unyielding support of these projects, and others like it, as we continue – together – to create affordable housing opportunities across the city. It is through a shared vision that CHA works with the City to increase opportunities for our most vulnerable citizens.”

As part of its commitment to addressing the affordable housing challenge, the City’s contribution included issuance of $27.3 million in multi-family housing revenue bonds, a $5 million multi-family loan and $1.3 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $12.7 million in equity. The developer, non-profit group, NHP which invests in the preservation of affordable housing citywide, acquired the property in 2016 as part of the City’s SRO Preservation Initiative.

“We are proud of our relationship with the City of Chicago,” said Richard Burns, President and CEO of NHP. “This ribbon cutting celebrates the culmination of nearly five years of effort from acquisition of the old Mark Twain Hotel to total renovation. If it wasn’t for Chicago’s SRO Preservation Ordinance, this property could easily have been demolished. We are grateful for the opportunity to preserve this building and are excited about another SRO we will begin preserving later this year in Lincoln Park.”

The SRO ordinance requires that property owners notify tenants in writing 180 days prior to the sale or transfer of the property and alert affordable housing development organizations to provide an opportunity to consider a preservation investment. Since its passage in 2014, the Single-Room Occupancy Preservation Ordinance has led to the preservation of 11 buildings, consisting of more than 1,400 units of desperately needed affordable housing for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable residents.

“The new Mark Twain will continue to serve Chicago and its residents with modern affordable housing units for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable residents,” said Ald. Osterman. “I would like to thank NFP for their vision of not only preserving this historic landmark, but also for its dedication to creating affordable housing here and across the country.”

Designed by architect Harry Glube, the five-story Art Deco building features beige brick and white terra cotta accents. The building opened as a rooming hotel in the 1930s, with rates as low at seven dollars per week. It has been operated continuously as an SRO since the 1980s.

The building, which once served as a much-needed resource for area workers, survived extensive urban renewal and street widening projects that cleared many nearby blocks in the 1960s. As a result, the Mark Twain was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 2017.

“The Mark Twain will once again serve as beacon for affordable housing on the

City’s Near North Side,” said Ald. Burnett. “The creation of affordable housing is the responsibility of the entire City, and I’m proud that this project is located in the ward.”

NHP is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1989 and dedicated to making investments that preserve and create affordable multifamily housing for low to moderate income families and seniors. With offices in New York and Washington, the organization has preserved dozens of properties comprising of more than 11,000 units located primarily along the East Coast from Connecticut to Florida.

The creation and preservation of affordable housing remains a primary focus for the Lightfoot Administration, as housing instability is a major driver of poverty in the City of Chicago. Through a series of new housing reform policies, the administration is working to develop inclusive policies that will work to address the challenges we face: a 120,000 affordable housing unit gap and shrinking federal resources.

Namely, the newly formed Inclusionary Housing Task Force will develop lasting citywide strategies, starting first with revisions to the ARO ordinance that will aid in efforts to preserve housing stock for low- and middle-income families across the City.