Public Housing Agencies and Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless People. 4.2. Chicago


Chicago has a Ten Year Plan and a very active Continuum of Care that has long pursued a strategy of developing PSH. This collaborative planning process was facilitated by a national intermediary organization, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and involves the CHA and a wide range of civic leaders, government and non-profit agencies, and other stakeholders.

Homelessness planning in Chicago also builds on longstanding collaboration among CHA, the Chicago Department of Community Development (DCD), and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to provide housing and other support to seniors, youth, and young children. These initiatives did not have anything to do with PSH. They were related to education or eviction prevention or addressing the needs of families living in public housing. However, these efforts created ongoing relationships at high levels in the agencies, which then helped the agencies work effectively together on homelessness and on issues related to PSH.

CHA is converting some tenant-based vouchers to provide project-based or sponsor-based (master-leased) rental assistance and has an open Request for Proposal (RFP) to receive proposals for PSH and regular affordable housing. Financing for PSH can be complex, often requiring project sponsors to assemble funding commitments for capital and operating costs from multiple sources. The open RFP11 allows the flexibility for a project to come in for funding when it is ready, rather than waiting for a funding competition that might be open only once or twice a year and often not aligned with the timeline for other sources of funding.

Because CHA has MTW authority, it can provide project or sponsor-based rental assistance payments that are higher than the maximum rents paid for other housing vouchers in order to fund case management for PHA residents who need it. This funding helps cover gaps in service that cannot be covered through Medicaid billing.

An informal group of Chicago City officials is working to implement centralized access to supportive housing, using consistent policies and procedures to prioritize and select tenants for supportive housing opportunities throughout the city, with priority being given to the most vulnerable homeless people.

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