CAFHA is dedicated to advancing fair housing justice by centering its efforts on opportunities that increase housing stability and wealth-building for persons directly impacted by racist and discriminatory policies.


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 Initiative 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.


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.


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 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 ensuring the passage and enforcement of statewide source of income protections (HB 2775).