CHA under fire for issuing less vouchers, reserving millions - KMSP-TV

CHA under fire for issuing less vouchers, reserving millions

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Housing Authority is under fire for putting aside millions of dollars in cash at the same time residents are begging for housing.

According to a report, by the CHA not issuing less vouchers than it could have, they saved about $90 million every year over a nine year period. The agency reportedly put that money into reserves, which totaled $432 million by 2012. As a result, there are still 15,230 families waiting for housing vouchers.

Now, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and Chicago Housing Initiative are asking for the agency to improve their voucher program.

Michael Merchant with the CHA released this statement regarding the issue Thursday morning:

Since my arrival at the Chicago Housing Authority, my top priority has been to address the housing needs of low-income residents throughout the City of Chicago. An important component of our strategic initiative, Plan Forward, is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which serves to expand housing options and provide choices for low-income families to live in neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

CHA has the flexibility to use financial resources for vouchers or for other housing activities, such as development and capital projects. I am aware that there is a need for immediate housing assistance that vouchers can provide, so I made a commitment to ensure that CHA fulfills its obligation as noted in our annual plan. Of course, we will continue to forge ahead with our development plans; however, due to the great housing needs that exist, right here, today, I have elected to make more vouchers immediately available.

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