CHA leads nation’s large housing authorities in leasing Emergency Housing Vouchers

Sep 29, 2022

CHICAGO (Sept. 29, 2022): The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) leads the nation’s large housing authorities in leasing Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) issued by the federal government last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued 1,165 EHVs to CHA last year as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Since then, families have been identified for all 1,165 EHVs, and CHA has leased 74 percent of them – leading the nation’s large housing authorities.

CHA anticipates the EHVs will be 100 percent leased by the end of the year, meaning many individuals who were experiencing homelessness a year ago now have a place of their own.

“This is what we hope to accomplish every day,” said Cheryl Burns, CHA’s Chief Housing Choice Voucher Officer who oversees the EHV program. “We wake up with a goal of helping families, and so when you hear a story of someone being housed, it really does remind you why you do this work.”

CHA works with the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC), city agencies and non-profit organizations to ensure that these vouchers are being leased as quickly as possible to eligible participants in conjunction with appropriate services.

The EHVs assist individuals and families who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; recently homeless or those at a high risk of housing instability.

The American Rescue Plan Act, which passed in March 2021 as part of the federal government's COVID-19 stimulus package, provided $5 billion in funding for EHVs for Public Housing Authorities throughout the country. HUD reports there have been 33,674 EHV’s leased nationally.

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The CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is also the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. For more information, visit