CAFHA identifies opportunities for increased housing stability and wealth-building for persons directly impacted by racist and discriminatory policies of the past. CAFHA also works to strengthen existing programs that significantly impact housing access and affordability.
JUST HOUSING INITIATIVE
Nearly 11,000 people return to Cook County each year from Illinois prisons. The discrimination and stigma they face often prevents them from finding a place. CAFHA believes that people with records also deserve a place to call home. In 2015, CAFHA launched a coalition of over 100 organizations and returning citizens working to pass the 2019 Just Housing Amendment in Cook County. Today, CAFHA trains and equips impacted persons to serve as Community Navigators to their peers, to create awareness about the protections offered under the amendment, and to connect people to social services and legal resources.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER WORKING GROUP
Homeownership is one of the most solid paths to wealth-building. For many renters, particularly participants of subsidized housing programs, homeownership can feel out of reach. Research conducted by CAFHA found that since 2000, public housing authorities (PHAs) have federal authorization to develop and implement homeownership programs. Despite the benefits, these programs are woefully underfunded and underutilized. For this reason, CAFHA has launched the only regional cross-sector coalition, inclusive of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders, to recommend ways to scale up and improve these programs.
SOURCE OF INCOME PROTECTIONS - HOUSING FOR ALL
In Illinois, over half of Illinois (2.7 million) households earn some sort of non-wage income such as disability benefits, veteran benefits, subsidies, alimony, child support and emergency forms of assistance, including COVID relief. However, many are turned away from available housing or threatened with eviction when attempting to pay their rent with these resources because landlords or property companies simply refuse to accept these non-wage based legal forms of payment. This is known as Source of Income Discrimination in housing. As a member of the Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing, CAFHA is committed to joining efforts to pass HB 2775, protecting renters all across Illinois from this type of housing discrimination.