CHA established the Office of the Ombudsman in 2009 to address the concerns of CHA residents living in mixed-income communities.  The Ombudsman serves as a liaison between residents, property management, and/or community stakeholders.

The Office of the Ombudsman holds at least two semi-annual listening forums near mixed-income communities. The purpose of the forums is to provide residents with opportunities to meet with and receive resources from CHA and its external partners, as well as ask questions or voice concerns.  Comments will be collected, responded to, and posted for download.  Click on the following links to view the most recent comments. 

FALL 2016 MEETINGS - COMMENTS­

Eckhart Park (North/Central) – no comments

Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center (South) 

 

Fall 2016 MEETINGS - RECAP

The Office of the Ombudsman hosted its fall round of Resident Listening Forums in September 2016.  

Date

Location

Region

Location-Specific Presenters

 

Monday, September 26  

 

Eckhart Park
1330 W. Chicago Ave.

 

 North/West

 

  • Near North Unity Program: Community organization that seeks to connect residents and stakeholders in the Near North to enhance its growth and improve the community’s quality of life. Learn more about community meetings and events here.
  • The Office would like to thank City Farm Chicago for donating produce baskets to residents and attendees. City Farm turns vacant land into productive farmland, transforming crumbling cement and overgrown weeds into jobs, green space, fresh produce, and hope. If you are interested in volunteering at the farm, please click here.

 

Tuesday, September 27

Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center
4859 S. Wabash Ave.

South

  • The Office would like to thank Windy City Harvest’s Legends South farm for donating produce baskets to residents and attendees.  The Chicago Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture education and jobs-training initiative helps build a local food system, healthier communities, and a greener economy.  If you are interested in joining the incubator farm at Legends South, please contact Angela Mason, director of Windy City Harvest, at amason@chicagobotanic.org.


Guest presenters at both meetings included

  • Employment Services: Employment support services and resources, including transitional jobs, on-the-job training, and education programs from the City Colleges of Chicago.
  • Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program:  HUD program that allows HCV and public housing residents to build financial assets as the household increases income from wages. 
  • Choose to Own (CTO) Homeownership Program:  CTO gives HCV and public housing residents the option to own a home within the City of Chicago.  Learn more by attending an orientation.
  • City Colleges of Chicago (CCC): CHA public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants can obtain a degree or certificate from CCC at low or no cost though a partnership between CHA and CCC. 
  • Oak Street Health: Oak Street Health is an approved CHA Health partner that offers services such as blood pressure screenings, health and wellness presentations and education (various topics), walking club organization, special events, and free access to community room activities at Oak Street health clinics.
  • Youth Opportunities: CHA has a variety of opportunities available for public housing an HCV youth throughout the year.  For more information, please call CHA’s Youth Hotline at 312.786.6930 or contact your FamilyWorks provider. 

The next round Resident Listening Forums will take place in April 2017.  Please look for a letter invitation in your mailbox. 

We look forward to seeing you in the fall!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Office of the Ombudsman at the number listed below or email Ombudsman@thecha.org

RECENT RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Number of Ombudsman resident issue cases closed

210

Resolution time for resident issues

13 days

Number of residents engaged

387

 

Cases Closed by Category

Number of Cases (Percentage)

Community issue (noise, safety, etc.)

7 (3%)

Housing issue (maintenance, rent, etc.)

81 (539%)

Inquiry about CHA programs (FSS, CTO, youth, etc.)

25 (12%)

Property management issues (grievances, transfers, etc.)

89 (42%)

Miscellaneous

8 (4%)

Total:

210 (100%)

 

Resident Engagement activity highlights include: 

“Fixing What We Created” Event

From September 17 to 18, former public housing residents and the Office co-hosted “Fixing What We Created,” a 2-day event and march that took place at the former ABLA Homes (now Brooks Homes).  Attracting over 100 attendees, the event included non-violence and peer-to-peer workshops, presentations from families of victims of violence throughout ABLA, and a resource fair.  The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP)—a program that provides supportive and legal services to juveniles to support a successful transition to the community by reducing barriers to public housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities—served as a vendor at the fair, recruiting youth to participate in their program. To learn more about JRAP, please contact the Office of the Ombudsman.

Energy Education and Efficiency

In response to residents’ requests for utility assistance, and the Office’s commitment to helping residents become better utility consumers, the Office is engaged in the following activities:

  • The Office is currently working with ComEd/People’s Gas’ JumpStart Energy Efficiency Program to educate residents on energy-saving measures and install free energy efficient products in their units at mixed-income developments.  Educational efforts include presenting at resident meetings and placing short articles in developments’ resident newsletters. As of September 30, 2016, a total of 2,206 units (including ACC, tax credit, and market rate) have been serviced.
  • On October 7, the Office presented to 40+ national utility companies and contractors on best practices to target energy-efficiency programs to low-income, multifamily households at the Franklin Energy Multifamily Energy Summit. 

Exploring Summerfest

From July 27 to 30, the Office arranged for 10 CHA youth and 1 adult chaperone to attend “Exploring Summerfest: Summit at Bechtel Reserve,” hosted by the Boy Scouts of America.  Youth spent four days in West Virginia enjoying outdoor activities such as rappelling, whitewater rafting while also learning leadership and service skills.

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Global Leaders Program Service Through Stem (StS) Project

In July, the Office partnered with Interstate Realty Management and the Legends South development to host the IIT StS project. The project engaged 25 high school students participating in the Global Leaders Program to address community building challenges in CHA’s mixed-income developments. In teams of 5, the bright students presented solutions to staff and local stakeholders, including strategies to improve block club attendance and resident participation.  

OTHER INFORMATION

For inquiries regarding CHA’s wait lists, please click here.

For questions regarding the Housing Choice Voucher program, please click here or call (312)935-2600. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Office of the Ombudsman can be reached by phone at 312.913.7899, by fax at 312.786.6981 or contact us here.

A call or inquiry to the Office of the Ombudsman will be returned by the end of the next business day.