Monday media advisory: Ex-offenders to apply for CHA housing


When: Monday, October 27 – 10 a.m. press conference

Issue: Ex-offenders who work with local re-entry service providers will take the opportunity to apply for subsidized housing starting Monday, when the Chicago Housing Authority reopens its waitlists.

5th Floor Chicago City Hall, followed by the group walking to CHA headquarters, 60 E. Van Buren

Organized by: The Re-Entry Project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), Safer Foundation, and St. Leonard’s Ministries 

After a brief press conference at City Hall, ex-offenders will walk to Chicago Housing Authority headquarters to announce their plans to apply for housing when the CHA application period opens for the first day on Monday. A petition pledging their plans to apply for housing was signed by 132 ex-offenders and turned over to the CHA administration.

“We’ve turned our lives around, and we want to apply for housing so we can stay on the right path,” said Charles Austin, co-chair of the CCH Re-Entry Project, which organized the event working with the Safer Foundation and St. Leonard’s Ministries.

Of ex-offenders who can find employment, many hold low-wage jobs that make it difficult to afford market-rate housing for themselves and their families.

Under local CHA rules, ex-offenders are not allowed to access subsidized housing or rejoin family until five years after release. Yet ex-offenders are allowed to apply when waitlists reopen. If their name is called up from a lottery, an ex-offender called in for a housing interview can present evidence that s/he has turned their life around, and can be allowed to access housing.

For the first time, the CHA is reopening three waitlists at once, using one online registration form for applicants. For four weeks, until November 24, people can apply for family public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, and property rental assistance at

For more information:
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Office: (312) 641-4140
Re-Entry Organizer Rachel Ramirez,
or Anne Bowhay,