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CUOMO REMOVES CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY FROM TROUBLED LIST, ANNOUNCES TRANSITION TO RESTORE LOCAL CONTROL WITHIN 8 MONTHS
CHICAGO - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today removed the Chicago Housing Authority from HUD's list of troubled public housing authorities and said HUD will return control of the CHA to the City of Chicago within eight months.
HUD will begin a transition next week to restore local control of the CHA to a new Housing Authority Board of Commissioners to be appointed in seven to eight months, Cuomo announced on a visit to the Henry Horner Homes public housing development in Chicago.
"For the first time since we began the current rating system for housing authorities in 1979, the Chicago Housing Authority is not on HUD's list of troubled public housing authorities," Cuomo said. "This major achievement shows that the partnership HUD formed with Mayor Daley and with CHA residents and staff to turn around the Authority has succeeded. Together, we've improved living conditions for residents and created new opportunities for them to get education, training and jobs that will help more become self-sufficient."
"This isn't the end of the process, it's the beginning," Cuomo said. "The tenants, the new hard-working management and the people of Chicago don't think this is as good as it gets, and neither do I. Now that the CHA is no longer on HUD's list of troubled housing authorities, we can move forward to begin returning control of the CHA where it belongs - to the people of Chicago. This city has earned the right to run its own housing authority."
The previous CHA Board voted in May 1995 to transfer control of the CHA to HUD in a move to improve deteriorated living conditions at CHA developments and end years of management problems. Mayor Daley joined in the request, and HUD sent Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Joseph Shuldiner to Chicago to become Executive Director of the CHA - a post he still holds.
HUD's new Public Housing Management Assessment Program rating for the CHA, issued today, gave the Authority a score of 64.69 out of a possible 100 points. At the time of the transfer of control of the CHA to HUD, the Authority's score on the Public Housing Management Assessment Program was just 51.
Under the rating system, which measures performance by public housing authorities in eight areas, an authority scoring below 60 is classified as troubled. HUD classifies only 51 of the nation's 3,400 public and Indian housing authorities as troubled.
The CHA Board voted itself out of business when it transferred control of CHA properties to HUD three years ago. During the transition period to return to local control of the CHA, a new board will be appointed and HUD will work closely with the CHA to ensure a smooth transition to oversight by the new board.
"As we are doing in communities around the nation, HUD is empowering the people of Chicago to play a greater role in shaping their future, with our strong support," Cuomo said. "We realize that people in Chicago know more about this city than we could ever learn in Washington and can do the best job improving their community."
The CHA, which is the third-largest housing authority in the United States, runs almost 39,000 units of public housing and administers rental assistance vouchers for another 20,000 privately owned apartments under the Section 8 program. CHA estimates that over 100,000 people live in these 59,000 apartments.
HUD is providing operating subsidies of almost $184 million to the CHA this year.
Currently HUD runs only three housing authorities: Camden, NJ; East St. Louis, IL; and New Orleans, where HUD is transitioning control back to the city. In addition, judicial receivers control housing authorities in: Kansas City, KS; Chester, PA; and Washington, DC. The San Francisco Housing Authority transferred control to HUD under former Secretary Henry Cisneros, and regained local control under Secretary Cuomo.
The Public Housing Management Assessment Program measures the performance of public housing authorities in these areas: 1) Percentage of vacant apartments and the time it takes to fill vacant apartments. 2) Management of the modernization program to upgrade apartments. 3) The success of rent collection efforts. 4) Performance of repairs and general maintenance on apartments. 5) Adequacy of physical inspections of apartments performed by a housing authority. 6) Overall financial management. 7) Programs to help residents become self- sufficient by providing such things as education, job training and child care. 8) Anti-crime efforts, including use of HUD's Drug Elimination Grants, working with local police, and carrying out the One Strike program to keep criminals out of public housing and remove those already there.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009