Spanish Coalition for Housing Works to Help Increase Pool of Affordable Housing Units
CHA’s Property Rental Assistance Program Offers New Opportunities for SCH Clients
CHICAGO (September 20, 2019) – With affordable housing under siege in Chicago, Spanish Coalition for Housing is excited about a recent opportunity that will help make affordable housing a reality for its clients. Earlier this summer, Chicago Housing Authority opened its application process for the Property Rental Assistance (PRA) program, which allocates Project Based Vouchers (PBV) to new developments and existing, well-managed properties. Through the vouchers, rent is capped at 30-percent of the residents’ income and the difference of the market-rate rent is provided to the landlord through PRA funds. Therefore, by opening the application process, more landlords and developers will have the opportunity to offer high-quality, affordable housing to eligible Chicagoans.
“Often times, landlord support is overlooked in regards to the affordable housing crisis,” said Gabriela Roman, Executive Director of SCH. “At Spanish Coalition for Housing, we work closely with small landlords (owners of 2 to 4 unit properties) through the HCV Landlord workshops, as well as our Chicago Bilingual Landlord Association (CBLA), to provide educational and support services. We continuously work to bring awareness to landlord-facing issues and are eager to explore the benefits of the PRA program and the positive impact it will have by increasing the pool of affordable housing units across Chicago communities.”
SCH is unique in which its services help connect both landlords and renters who need assistance to affordable housing opportunities. Since June 2016, SCH has assisted 1,072 renting clients, including 666 senior housing applicants, through these services, and with the CHA accepting new PRA applicants, the housing counseling agency hopes to connect even more of those clients to affordable homes in the future.
“I recently moved into my new home thanks to this service. I had been struggling financially due to health issues and attended a Senior Housing workshop to see if there were any opportunities for me. That’s where I met my counselor who then introduced me to the service and helped me throughout the entire application process,” said Annie Anderson, SCH client. “These services really are something everyone could benefit from. Even though the organization has the word Spanish in their name, they really help everybody. I’m an African American woman, and I feel honored to have been a part of this process.”
Spanish Coalition hosts a variety of workshops for renters and property-owners as part of Community Alliance, the CHA’s Diversity Outreach Initiative. Through these workshops, SCH has educated more than 4,700 individuals, and over 1,400 individuals have taken action from SCH’s outreach efforts, such as applying for senior housing, applying or updating housing assistance applications and creating Section 3 profiles in the CHA portal, which identifies low-income individuals who can benefit from HUD-financed employment and economic opportunities. SCH staff invites anyone with questions to call, email or visit one of the three offices for dedicated service and assistance. (Main Office: 773-342-7575, 199 N. Pulaski Road; Pilsen Office: 312-850-2660, 1915 S. Blue Island; Southeast Office: 773-933-7575, 9010 S. Commercial).