CHA Opens Voucher Wait List

April 17, 2008

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For the first time in more than a decade, the Chicago Housing Authority is opening a wait list for federal housing vouchers.

Section 8 vouchers allow low-income families to pay a third of their income for rent. The government pays the rest. For a month, the housing authority is opening the waiting list and will take up to 40,000 names. It will use a lottery to pick who gets the vouchers.

Flanked by several aldermen, housing authority CEO Lewis Jordan officially announced the program today.

JORDAN: It's no secret that when you look at the mortgage crisis in our country and the high levels of need, CHA is very, very pleased to be in the forefront.

Jordan says 3,500 families will benefit immediately. Housing officials say the demand forced the list to be closed for so long.

Advocates like the Chicago Rehab Network say the massive list points to the need for affordable housing in the region. Jordan said 10,000 people have already put their names on the list since this morning.