Board of Commissioners

Chicago Housing Authority


This is a remote assignment to cover the following Chicago Housing Authority meetings. The day will begin with a session closed to the public (at 8:30 a.m.) but for the purpose of this assignment you can tune in at 9 a.m.

  • 8:30 am: Finance & Audit Committee (Closed Session)
  • 9:00 am: Finance & Audit Committee (Business Session)
  • 9:10 am: Tenant Services Committee
  • 9:20 am: Real Estate Operations Development Committee
  • 9:30 am: Business Session
  • Public Hearing
  • Closed Session

The meeting will be live-streamed on the Chicago Housing Authority’s Youtube channel:

Check the source website for additional information


Edited and summarized by the Chicago - IL Documenters Team

Note-taking by Susan Carlotta Ellis

Moving to Work report, BJ Wright Apartments, Project Based Vouchers, Housing Choice Voucher participant council

Live reporting by Jennifer Bamberg

Moving to Work report, BJ Wright Apartments, Project Based Vouchers, Housing Choice Voucher participant council

Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333
Good morning yal, I’ll be live tweeting today’s Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners today meeting at 9am for the @CHIdocumenters.

08:55 AM Mar 16, 2021 CDT

Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 2/34
Looks like they finished up their 8:30 Finance and Audit closed session early, and the live stream is on. You can watch it here:….
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 3/34
Here's a link to the agenda:…
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 4/34
We're on to the Real Estate Operations Development Committee. The commissioners are talking about the redevelopment of Albany Terrace and Irene McCoy Gaines Apartments on the west side of Chicago.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 5/34
CHA is technically going to sell these buildings, although the agency will still remain as the General Partner. The two buildings will be transferred to a tax credit entity where the investor has a limited stake. The sale is not to exceed $75mil.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 6/34
The buildings are valued at $130 million.

The Habitat Company manages these buildings right now, they are underwriting aggressively.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 7/34
The next item is a recommendation to enter a contract with BJ Wright Apartments on Roosevelt and Halsted. CHA is not purchasing and will not manage the building, but wants to secure that building as one of its Project Based Vouchers.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 8/34
People who are already living there and are eligible for the project based voucher will be able to stay. Others who do not qualify will be issued vouchers to look elsewhere for housing or will be evicted.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 9/34
If all 160 of the families currently living there want to stay and are eligible for PBV, CHA will have to ask for additional funds from HUD.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 10/34
Any future vacancies will come from the CHA waitlist.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 11/34
The Real Estate Operations Development Committee has adjourned and we're on to the Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Mildred Harris is giving the center thoughts, celebrating the women of public housing for Women's History Month.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 12/34
Next is a report from Chicago Housing Authority CEO Tracey Scott.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 13/34
CEO Scott commemorates the confirmation of Congressman Marcia Fudge as HUD Sectary, and gives a brief update on the $1.9trillion relief bill. More emergency rental assistance, administered by state and city, and emergency vouchers are coming to CHA.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 14/34
CEO Scott announces the inauguration of an Housing Choice Voucher participant advisory council. Council members will give feedback on the Move To Work program (more on MTW later).
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 15/34
Agenda Item 1 is to accept and submit to HUD the FY2020 Moving to Work Annual Report.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 16/34
On February 6, 2000, CHA and HUD signed the original Moving to Work agreement, which allowed the CHA to implement the Plan for Transformation (ie, tearing down every public housing high rise in the city, and switching from maintaining buildings to providing housing vouchers).
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 17/34
On June 26, 2008, CHA decided to amend and reinstate the MTW agreement for ten years. In 2016, HUD extended the program until 2028.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 18/34
Throughout the pandemic, homeless advocacy and mutual aid groups like @CUH_housing4all and Chicago Housing Initiative have highlighted the fact that CHA may have over 2,000 vacant units in its portfolio.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 19/34
CHI has been pressuring CHA since 2012 at the federal level to require higher occupancy rates through stricter regulations. But the Moving to Work program allows CHA to maintain a higher vacancy rate than other public housing agencies while still receiving federal funds.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 20/34
The Chicago Union of the Homeless have been pushing to get the CHA to utilize its vacant units to house people experiencing homelessness since before the pandemic. This list of demands is from the CUH facebook page.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 21/34
As part of the Moving to Work agreement, CHA is required to submit an annual report to HUD, due 90 days after the end of CHA’s FY. The agenda item passes.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 22/34
The Commissioners have gone into closed session for the next half hour, so I'll keep tweeting about the Moving to Work program.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 23/34
Thanks to @morleydoc for reporting on CHA housing vacancies last summer! Everyone should read his @SouthSideWeekly article here:…
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 24/34
In 2014, The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability released a report showing that the CHA had amassed over $400 million in reserves, in part by issuing an average of 13,000 fewer housing vouchers per year than the Authority was funded to do.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 25/34
CHA used a huge chunk of that money to pay off their pension debt rather than supporting tens of thousands of families in need of housing.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 26/34
It was the MTW program that allowed CHA to get away with this, cus the program frees local public housing agencies from oversight and accountability mechanisms.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 27/34
Through the MTW program, the CHA can pool federal funding for public housing, capital construction, and housing vouchers into one General Fund and spend money from that fund at its discretion. Normally, such federal funding has to be kept in segregated accounts by program.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 28/34
But because of the financial flexibility the MTW gives the CHA, the agency was able to divert money intended for the issuance of housing vouchers to other uses. You can read the report here:…
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 29/34
The 2014 report seems to have resulted in positive change with a sizeable increase in housing voucher spending, but the CHA remains tight lipped about its vacancies.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 30/34
The Commissioners have returned from their closed session and have officially adjourned the meeting at 10:40am.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 31/34
I don't wanna signoff without first acknowledging the 3 members of the public who spoke during public comment. 1 participant pleaded w/ the commissioners to repair the elevators in her senior building. She said tenants are afraid to ride it, and taking the stairs is deadly too.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 32/34
Another commenter lambasted the commissioners for systematically neglecting their tenants, saying, "CHA participants are over 70% black. What do you have against black people?"
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 33/34
Tamika Holdt, another member of the public, spoke out against "renovictions", and implored the commissioners to repair the BJ Wright Preservation Apartments but not to displace the tenants who need and deserve quality housing.
Jonathan Lesbian Seagull @gremlina333 34/34
With that, I'm signing off. Keep following @CHIdocumenters for more coverage of local politics and take care.

Agency Information

Chicago Housing Authority

The CHA Board of Commissioners is the governing body that determines policies and resolutions of CHA. The Board approves decisions that chart the direction of current and future programs and authorizes the actions of the Chief Executive Officer and his or her designees. The 10-member Board of Commissioners is confirmed by the Chicago City Council for staggered five-year terms. All commissioners must be residents of Chicago, and at least three commissioners must be CHA residents. Employees of CHA are not authorized to serve as commissioners.

Remote meetings are live-streamed on the Chicago Housing Authority’s Youtube channel. The video may not appear until at or a few minutes after the scheduled start time. If you do not see if right away, wait a few moments and try refreshing your Internet tab.


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