CHA CEO Tracey Scott’s opening statement to the Chicago City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate
Good morning. I am Tracey Scott. I have served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Housing Authority since May 2020. Before coming to CHA, I served in leadership positions with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Atlanta Housing Authority, and AT&T.
Currently, I also hold leadership roles with national public housing industry and policy groups, such as Council of Large Public Housing Authorities’ board, and I am the co-founder and President of the MTW Collaborative.
And I can tell you, Chicago is admired and leads the nation in innovation, development of mixed-income housing and robust resident support programs.
We also mirror the challenges that large housing authorities face: aging housing stock averaging 50 years old, remnants of outdated policies, and capital needs that outpace federal funding. And in Chicago especially, we have borne witness to what happens when we disinvest in neighborhoods and use public housing policy to intentionally isolate and concentrate primarily Black and Brown families in high-poverty areas.
Around the nation and here in Chicago, we have learned that thriving neighborhoods catalyze families’ growth and health and can lead to their economic power.
We also recognize that strong communities are made up of more than just housing – they need quality public schools, green space and outdoor recreation, jobs and career opportunities, healthcare access, grocery stores, public transportation, and more.
Our Chicago story mirrors the 20th-century history of public housing in America. And it is why CHA’s approach to publicly supported housing has and must evolve in the 21st century. I’m here today to talk about the 21st century and the future history we are writing together.
As CEO of CHA, I envision a city filled with strong sustainable mixed-use, mixed-income communities where everyone feels welcome and can thrive. Together with our public and private sector partners, including elected officials, it is my hope that future historians will say that the next generation of Chicago children achieved a brighter future because of our efforts today.
Before taking the committee’s questions, I would like to provide an overview of CHA core programs, development highlights, and recent initiatives in a brief presentation. Thank you.