Alderwoman receives second CHA approval voucher decades after applying

CHICAGO (CBS) – A girl who utilized for a Chicago Housing Authority voucher decades in the past says she hit a wall relating to her eligibility on the time. The now Alderwoman says she simply obtained her second approval over the Memorial Day weekend. 

CBS 2’s Jamaica Ponder has her story.

“I wanted my own place, and so I signed up for CHA Scattered Sites because that’s what it was at the time,” mentioned Jeanette Taylor.

Taylor, now an Alderwoman representing Chicago’s twentieth ward first utilized for reasonably priced housing by way of the Chicago Housing Authority in 1993. At the time, she was dwelling in a one-bedroom condominium together with her three youngsters and several other different members of the family. 

“That’s a lot of people in a one, changed into a two-bedroom, and so I wanted my own space because I know how important that is to the growth of your kids,” Taylor mentioned.

“And my friend, a friend of mine was like if you move out here, you’ll you know you’ll get your voucher quicker. So, I picked a place on 106 and Olgisvy.”

Taylor did not hear again about an reasonably priced housing voucher till the early 2000s, over a decade later. She’d made it off the listing however instantly ran right into a wall together with her eligibility.   

Her eldest son had simply graduated highschool. In order to obtain the voucher, he would wish to maneuver out and he or she’d must take away him from her lease. 

“Anybody over the age of 18, you got to show their income or if they’re in school. And at the time, he had just graduated from high school, so he wasn’t registered in another school yet. He wasn’t working yet, and they told me he cannot be on my lease,” Taylor mentioned.

“If they caught him in my unit, I [would] lose my CHA house. So basically, making me pick between myself, us having housing, and my son. And I was like I’m gonna go with my son all day long,” Taylor mentioned.

The alderwoman declined the voucher and remained on the ready listing. 

It was simply this previous Memorial Day weekend that the Alderwoman obtained her second approval letter from the CHA. Nearly three decades after her preliminary application — she’d as soon as once more made it off the ready listing. 

The letter shocked Taylor, as she’d only in the near past had a meeting with the pinnacle of CHA. Initially, she thought the letter was in reference to that.  

“Because of my income, and so it just makes no sense to me whatsoever, it was like thinking,” Taylor mentioned.

She says her revenue as an alderwoman ought to disqualify her for the voucher program. In the 29 years since she utilized, she’s been capable of finding her personal reasonably priced housing, renting a spacious condominium from a pal. 

And whereas she’s not in want, 1000’s of Chicagoans are.

“You know my community and we got all this vacant land, but we also got 120,000 people on a CHA waiting list. On top of [that], we got 58,000 homeless people and a large percentage of those are people under the age of 18,” Taylor mentioned.

Ashley Jamieson, a federal lawyer, was a authorities contractor with the CHA for practically a decade. In her expertise, wait occasions for Section 8 housing are instantly because of a scarcity of funding from the federal authorities. 

“[The city doesn’t] control where the funding comes from. That money needs to be appropriated from Congress so that the Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide it to the housing authorities across the country to help open the waiting list,” mentioned Jamieson

“It’s not just CHA that has a long waiting list, this is a common occurrence across all the housing authorities across the country. So, this is a larger political issue, you need to be supporting candidates, and governments that want to support housing,” Jamieson mentioned.

Jamieson additionally credit the lengthy ready lists to the “cyclical nature of poverty,” impacting households for generations. 

“Families do tend to live multigenerational because they can’t afford to live on their own. So that’s another reason why vouchers tend to pass down through families,” Jamieson mentioned. 

“It’s like the same family can be on the program for many years because of it, but it’s also because that’s a generation of need. It’s not like, this is not a trust or— they’re not passing on money. This is the cycles and generation of need.”

The shortage of public housing is a nationwide concern — with most main housing authorities having equally lengthy wait occasions for his or her voucher program. That shortage is exacerbated by the cyclical nature of poverty. With many households being multi-generational and passing vouchers all the way down to youthful members of the family.

Both Jamieson and Alderwoman Taylor say the best factor is to be vocal about one’s experiences with Section 8 housing. Using social media to share tales and unfold solidarity. 

“[Social media] gives people opportunities to talk about things and say hey look like this is a problem,” Jamieson mentioned. 

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