Chicago Housing Authority receives more than 1,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers from COVID-19 Relief Plan

May 11, 2021

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Karen Vaughan: (312) 786-6666; (312) 656-0743;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646; (312) 523-7067;

CHICAGO (May 11, 2021) - The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) today announced that it is receiving 1,097 special Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

"These critical housing resources from the Biden administration and Congress will further aid our local efforts to provide social and economic safety nets for our residents who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "Here in Chicago, and especially over the past year, we have been working day in and day out to address the challenges of homelessness and domestic violence. Thanks to this federal investment, we will be able to double down on this work and amplify our ongoing affordable housing and anti-poverty initiatives."

CHA CEO Tracey Scott said:

“This is a significant investment in Chicago’s communities recovering from the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. These much-needed affordable housing resources allow the CHA and our partners to provide critical rental assistance to address housing insecurity and support survivors of domestic violence.”

The American Rescue Plan Act, which passed in March 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. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the allocations to Public Housing Authorities this week, including the 1,097 EHVs coming to Chicagoans.

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated housing insecurity and incidents of domestic violence. In 2020, advocates saw an increase in calls to domestic violence hotlines, and many of those callers needed shelter. To further address these issues, CHA, one of the nation’s largest public housing authorities, will continue its partnerships with the Chicago Continuum of Care, The Network (formerly Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network), the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and others. HUD recently established guidelines for the EHVs, and CHA and its partners will finalize the terms of the new program and work to issue these vouchers to Chicagoans. EHVs become effective July 1, 2021.  

Housing vouchers subsidize rental payments of low-income families and individuals who qualify. To be eligible for EHV, applicants must meet income restrictions and fall into one of four eligibility categories: (1) homeless (as defined by law under the McKinney-Vento Act), (2) at risk of homelessness, (3) fleeing or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or (4) recently homeless.

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.

The Chicago Continuum of Care is supported by All Chicago Making Homelessness History. Together with The Network and the Corporation for Supportive Housing as members of the Continuum of Care, they provide solutions that foster greater housing security, improve the lives of those impacted by domestic violence, and create cost-effective solutions to homelessness and poverty.

For more information on the housing provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, please see HUD’s fact sheet here.