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Nearly 1 in 3 Americans has an arrest record before age 25, which means that more people have an arrest record than a four-year college degree. In Cook County alone, there are more than 1 million residents with an arrest or conviction. 

11,000 people return to Cook County each year from Illinois prisons and are nearly 10 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general public.

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In 2015, CAFHA launched a coalition of over 100 organizations and returning citizens to advocate for the passage of the Just Housing Amendment Initiative in Cook County. Their commitment and dedication resulted in the 2019 passage of the Amendment. Since the law passed, CAFHA has continued working with directly impacted leaders and organizational partners to advance policies that remove systemic housing barriers for people with arrest and conviction records.


Homeownership is one of the most solid paths towards wealth-building for families and individuals. Public housing authorities (PHAs) have the power to assist public housing residents, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) clients, and other low-income families in purchasing homes.

A recent study by CAFHA showed that since the year 2000, PHAs have been authorized to create and implement homeownership programs, yet very few of these programs exist. Most that do, are underutilized and underfunded. CAFHA is proud to convene the only regional cross-sector coalition, inclusive of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders that meets regularly to workshop, from multiple angles, potential solutions for increased program accessibility and success.  

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