The Housing Authority of Cook County also known as the HACC, is the second largest public housing authority in Illinois. The HACC is a municipal corporation that was established in 1946 to serve 108 communities, as well as unincorporated areas in suburban Cook County. The Housing Authority of Cook County administers several rent assistance programs to meet the housing needs of our rental participants. The HACC’s conventional public housing program consists of over 2,100 owned units of low-income housing. The Rent Assistance Division services over 13,000 families, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. Other programs such as our Mobility Assistance Program, Family Self-Sufficiency Program, and Home Ownership Program are designed to make a positive difference and help participants achieve independence. The HACC believes that, with the partnership of public and private resources, the goal of providing safe and desirable housing in viable communities, for all County residents can be successfully accomplished.
HACC HIT BY FURLOUGH DAYS
To ease impact, furlough days will be paired with holidays
On March 2, 2013, due to government-wide automatic spending cuts, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget was slashed by 5.1 percent, severely affecting Public Housing Authorities and since PHA’s are funded almost exclusively by HUD, these cuts have reverberated throughout the nation. The Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) lost $8.3 million in funding, affecting both the public housing communities owned by HACC, as well as the voucher program it administers.
Due to the spending cuts, the HACC will suspend operations at its central office located at 175 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 350; Chicago, IL, and all of its management offices in its housing communities on the following dates:
- Wednesday, November 27, 2013 (Day before Thanksgiving)
- Tuesday, December 24, 2013 (Christmas Eve)
- Tuesday, December 31, 2013 (New Years Eve)
- Tuesday, January 21, 2014 (Tuesday after Martin Luther King holiday)
- Monday, March 3, 2014 (Casimir Pulaski Day)
- Friday, May 23, 2014 (Friday before Memorial Day holiday weekend)
- Thursday, July 3, 2014 (Day before Independence Day holiday)
- Friday, August 29, 2014 (Friday before Labor Day holiday weekend)
- Friday, December 26, 2014 (Day after Christmas)
- Friday, February 13, 2015 (Friday between Lincoln’s Birthday holiday of Thurs. 2/12 and President’s Day holiday of Mon. 2/16)
All HACC offices will resume normal operation the following work day after each closure that is noted above, according to regular business hours. We encourage those with business in HACC offices to plan accordingly. Click here for normal business hours schedule.
FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOP
Who couldn’t use solid tips on keeping more money in their pocket and learn about the good and bad side of credit? Being able to manage ones money, regardless of your income is in the best interest of every consumer.
Join the HACC and LADDER Up on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, for two workshops on budgeting and credit counseling. Learn practical money skills, such as establishing a budget, how to effectively save money, and everything you need to know about credit.
Workshop times are 2 pm to 4:30 pm for budgeting and 6 pm to 8:30 pm, for credit counseling. Individual financial coaching sessions are available for those interested; please inquire at the workshop. We would love to have you there, so call (312) 542-4728, and deadline to RSVP is Monday, October 21st.
Click here for the full workshop agenda, spread the word and we will see you there!
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
As you may already be aware, Congress was unsuccessful in passing budget legislation on September 30th, which has resulted in the shut down of the federal government. However, because the HACC is a public housing authority, which is not part of the federal government, the HACC will remain open for business and HACC staff will be available during normal business hours. Additionally, all Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) for the Housing Choice Voucher program for the month of October will be paid.
BRINGING PLAY BACK TO CHILDHOOD
We did it! On Saturday, August 24th, with over 100 volunteers, KaBOOM!, Chicago Bulls, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the HACC brought play back to childhood by building a brand new playground at the HACC’s Sunrise Apartments and John Mackler Homes in Chicago Heights, IL. The build started off with remarks from Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, and was led into a warm up exercise by HACC staff. The culmination was a brand new playground six hours later, for the children in and around the Sunrise Apartments and John Mackler Homes.
To see pictures from the entire build, please visit our Facebook page here.
HUMAN SERVICES FAIR
On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the HACC will host a Human Services Fair at Jane Perlman Apartments in Evanston, located at 1900 Sherman Avenue.
Information provided at the fair will entail employment training, health education, job placement, dental services, free vaccinations, alcohol and substance abuse recovery, Inpatient and Outpatient Services, lending, home buyer and homeowner services, and much more.
The fair will start at 9:00 am and run until 3:00 pm. Refreshments will be provided.
To view pictures from the fair, please clickhere.
HACC BRINGS BOOKS TO FORD HEIGHTS
The Housing Authority of Cook County, along with Prairie State College, Altrusa International (Chicago’s South Suburbs), and the Dr. Charles E. Gavin Foundation Women’s Auxiliary, have joined together to promote literacy in communities where libraries are scarce or non-existent.
On May 7, 2013, all partners joined together to launch Little Free Library™, at the HACC’s Vera Yates Homes in Ford Heights, IL, located at 1055 S. Berkley Avenue. There will be two library boxes at this location and one library boxes each at two other housing communities in the South Suburbs, of which were built by dedicated staff on our Asset Management team.
Unlike your standard library book exchange, whereas we present a library card to check out a book, with Little Free Library™, the books are free and no library card is needed. However, readers are strongly encouraged to leave a book, when they take a book.
For more information about Little Free Library™, click here.
HACC SPRING NEWSLETTER
The HACC’s Spring Newsletter has finally arrived! In this issue, learn about: free health and medical services for Cook County residents, joining an organization that will help you to prepare for your next career, HACC’s new online presence: Facebook, Twitter, and new website, with new landlord portal, free computer training, as well as an opportunity to purchase computers for as little as $150, AND discount high speed internet, a Resource Corner, tips for seniors to combat loneliness, and our second installment of ‘HACC Kids’, with an essay contest for children living in LIPH developments, with the winners receiving $25 gifts cards.
To check out our Spring Newsletter, please click here .
THE HACC FIGHTS HUNGER
For that reason, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) have joined forces to implement a Summer Food Service Program, for children living in HACC developments in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, and Robbins. This program will combine nutritious food with summer activities, Monday through Friday, with lunch from 11:15 am – 12 pm and a mid-afternoon snack, from 1pm – 1:30 pm, for children 18 years of age and younger.
HACC staff has been trained by CEDA on the planning, operation, monitoring and record keeping compliance of the Summer Food Service Program.
“The rising level of poverty in the suburbs has accelerated over the past several years”, says Richard Monocchio, the HACC’s Executive Director. According to Brookings Institute, the number of suburban poor grew by 64 percent between 2000 and 2011. Now, for the first time, a majority of Chicagoland’s poor population lives in the suburbs.
The kick-off will be on Monday, June 10, 2013, at the Sunrise Homes located at 1301 Mason Court, in Chicago Heights, IL, the Richard Flowers Homes, located at 13900 Grace Street, in Robbins IL, and the Vera Yates Homes, at 1055 Berkley in Ford Heights, IL. The Summer Food Service Program will run through Friday, August 9, 2013 at all three of these HACC developments.
“It’s not enough just to provide housing. We have to make sure that kids have enough to eat all year round”, says Mr. Monocchio.
COOK COUNTY BOARD PASSES SOURCE OF INCOME (SOI)
PROTECTIONS FOR VOUCHER HOLDERS
On May 8, 2013, the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in a landmark vote to end discriminatory housing practices throughout Suburban Cook County, voted to pass the Source of Income Amendment to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance. The amendment passed with 9 votes in favor and 6 against.
There are many misconceptions about how the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program works, particularly as it pertains to working with the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC). “The passage of Source of Income (SOI) Protection means that the Housing Choice Voucher Program offers real choice, regardless of income or where you want to live. This measure levels the playing field. It provides equal access for all”, says the HACC’s Executive Director, Richard Monocchio. Over 13,000 renters in Cook County receive housing choice vouchers and over 6,000 landlords participate in the program. The HACC has made drastic improvements in the administration of the HCV Program over the past few years. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in your search for housing, please call (312) 603-1100 or click here for information on filing a complaint.
SOURCE OF INCOME PROTECTION INFORMATION:
BUDGET CUTS IMPOSE DEEP CUTS IN HOUSING PROGRAMS
Public Housing Authorities were severely impacted by federal budget cuts in March 2013. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget was slashed by 5.1%. Since PHAs are funded almost exclusively by HUD, these cuts have reverberated throughout the nation. The Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) lost $8.3 million in funding. These cuts will impact both the public housing communities owned by HACC, as well as the voucher program it administers.
More ominously, this comes on the heels of last years’ $1 million cut to public housing programs nationally. HACC’s share of this loss was $2 million. This year, $7 million was cut from the Housing Assistance Program (HAP), the fund used to pay landlords rent. Many housing authorities have been forced to terminate housing assistance for current voucher holders. In Cook County, that action will not have to be taken, at least at this point. However, no new vouchers will be granted to people on the waiting list, many of whom have been waiting over twelve years for assistance.
Another $1.3 million was cut from operational funds. This will impact everything from processing new tenants, remodeling vacant units, completing work orders, and personnel.
‘Housing programs have been cut steadily over the past decade,’ said HACC Executive Director, Richard Monocchio. Personnel and programs have been cut back over time as a result. But this year, the cuts hit like a machete. This will have a profound impact on the people we serve,” said Mr. Monocchio.
Up to 700 very low income households will not receive housing vouchers as a result of these cutbacks. In addition, much needed maintenance and repairs to the existing housing will be reduced. Currently, HACC’s 2,000 public housing units have nearly $100 million in unmet capital needs.
“We are committed to keeping every current resident housed,” said Mr. Monocchio. “But there can be no doubt that the level of services will be impacted by these cuts, and felt by every resident.”
EveryoneOn is a national campaign – a movement – to motivate Americans to become connected and take advantage of free digital literacy training in their own communities. It is an initiative of Connect2Compete (C2C), a national nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate the digital divide by delivering free and low-cost Internet, computers, and digital literacy training to all Americans. C2C has partnered with the Ad Council and Y&R to develop the national campaign, which is a three year, multi-media, bi-lingual effort.
Get access to Connect2Compete’s low-cost computers and deeply discounted high-speed internet today.
Click here to see if you qualify!
MEDICAID PROGRAM FOR UNINSURED ADULTS IN COOK COUNTY
The Housing Authority of Cook County and the Cook County Health and Hospital Systems (CCHHS) have partnered to ensure that those in need of medical care are able to receive the assistance that they so desperately need. CountyCare is a new program for uninsured adults who are 19-64 years of age, living in Cook County and those that qualify for CountyCare will have access to services such as public transportation, family planning, physicians, dental visits, mental health services, inpatient AND outpatient hospital services and much more!
Please see below for a link to the CCHHS website to find out more about this exciting new program and for a quick overview of the program, see the flyers below.
Click here for more information.