The Chicago Housing Authority is scaling back on its controversial program that allowed some low income renters to live in several of Chicago’s priciest downtown high rises.
Recipients of the authority’s “super vouchers” were able to live in luxury apartments such as the plush Aqua Tower and the high-end Streeter apartment buildings in downtown Chicago.
“After concluding a review and analysis of exception payment standards, we believe adjusting the policy strikes a critical balance between providing housing options for voucher participants and fiscal responsibility,” CHA CEO Michael Merchant announced via press release Sunday. The changes will impact approximately 260 of the 700 families currently using “super vouchers.” Not all of them live in luxury down apartment buildings. The program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow those with low incomes the chance to live in “opportunity areas” with better transit, career options and schools.
The program garnered criticism after it was revealed that residents’ high end lifestyles were being subsidized by tax dollars as CHA deals with a waiting list of 15,000 people hoping for any assistance at all.
Thousands of Chicagoans have been denied benefits and access to vouchers due to the CHA running out of money.
The CHA says the scaled back program will offer participants up to 150% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fair market rent. Currently the percentage stands at 300%.
Less than 2 percent of CHA subsidy recipients receive more valuable “super vouchers.”
Thoughts on the CHA scaling back on “super vouchers?” Is it a low-key form of housing discrimination?
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