Since 2002, the nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council, the Illinois Housing Development Authority and now 10 housing authorities across the Chicago region have joined together to form the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI). To address the lack of housing options in higher-opportunity, often suburban, communities in the region, participating housing authorities pool a portion of their available vouchers to provide support for the rehabilitation and construction of project-based units. This regional collaboration has been integral in the development of units in smaller jurisdictions, which would not otherwise have enough voucher capacity to finance a project on their own.

Since the RHI was formed, it has helped finance 406 apartments in 28 developments through the pooling and transferring of project-based vouchers. The RHI has also created a regional waiting list for families seeking to live in these developments. While the Chicago and Cook County housing authorities have contributed the greatest number of vouchers (as they have much higher voucher allocations and staff capacity than smaller, suburban housing authorities), Chicago and Cook County are able to benefit from their contribution because waiting list families in their jurisdictions have equal access to housing opportunities throughout the 19 communities in the region.

For More Info:

Breann Gala, Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council
Email: [email protected]