Woman 29 years after application for affordable housing admitted
A Chicago councilwoman was devastated when she received a letter informing her that she was at the top of an affordable housing waitlist last month – nearly three decades after she applied.
“I first applied for an affordable housing voucher in 1993,” Councilwoman Jeanette Taylor said on Twitter, showing one photo of the letter by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) on May 20.
“Finally, in 2004, I got a call back to say that my son, who had just graduated from high school, couldn’t be on my lease. Today, in 2022, I finally received a letter telling me that I made it to the top of the waiting list. I have no words.”
The letter said Taylor had until June 6 to complete her admissions application after being selected from the waiting list.
A 2021 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that most families wait years to be removed from affordable housing voucher waiting lists. Only two of the 50 largest housing authorities in the United States have average wait times of less than a year, while some have average wait times of up to eight years. Across the country, families who receive vouchers spend an average of almost two and a half years waiting.
The average wait time for Chicago housing vouchers was 19 months, CBPP reported. However, because millions of families are never at the top of a waiting list, the average wait time for people receiving coupons does not reflect the wait time for someone to put their name on a list.
Taylor told WBBM Newsradio that she was a 19-year-old mother of three when she applied for affordable housing in 1993. She had two more children while continuing to wait, raising all five in a one-bedroom apartment.
In a follow-up tweet, Taylor said her 29-year wait was symptomatic of a broken housing system.
“I have no words for how this system continues to fail our communities and those in need of stable, affordable housing,” she wrote. “In those 29 years, Chicago’s housing crisis has only gotten worse.”
A CHA spokesman said news week in a statement: “CHA cannot comment on the status of an applicant due to privacy concerns, but we fully agree that more resources are needed from the federal government to address Chicago’s affordable housing needs as the number is not significant has increased in available vouchers in years.”
CHA added that the Housing Choice Voucher waitlist was last opened in 2014, when more than 75,000 names were added to the list. About 32,000 names have survived today.
Last year President Joe Biden proposed incentives for affordable housing as part of his Build Back Better plan, which also included a universal pre-kindergarten, clean energy incentives and expanded health services. The bill fell through after Senator Joe Manchin publicly withdrew his support.
news week turned to Alderman Taylor for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/woman-approved-affordable-housing-29-years-after-applying-twitter-chicago-1712256 Woman 29 years after application for affordable housing admitted