Our office will be closed on Friday, April 18, 2014, in observance of Good Friday, and will reopen on Monday, April 21, 2014, at 8:30 am.
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’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICHARD MONOCCHIO
ADDRESSES NATIONAL HOUSING PANEL
The Council for Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) held its annual meeting last month, in Washington D.C., and the HACC’s Executive Director spoke to attendees at the conference regarding HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program.
HACC has converted its two properties in Evanston, Jane R. Perlman Apartments, and Victor Walchirck Apartments, which house seniors and people with disabilities. Through RAD, the HACC was able to leverage other State, federal, and local resources, which will lead to a multi-million dollar renovation of the properties. The work is scheduled to begin in early 2015.
Mr. Monocchio spoke on the need to extend the RAD Program. Currently Congres has capped RAD at 60,000 units. Another 120,000 units have been sent to HUD for conversion, but cannot be acted upon until Congress acts. If extended, all 2000 units of the HACC’s public housing would be converted and rehabilitated.
To learn more about the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, please visit HUD’s website here.
Top left: Victor Walchirck Apartments – 2300 Noyes Court; Evanston
Bottom Right: Jane R. Perlman Apartments – 1900 Sherman Avenue; Evanston
IN THIS TOGETHER
Join the Housing Authority of Cook County’s (HACC) Executive Director, Richard Monocchio on Monday, May 19, 2014, at the City Club of Chicago, beginning at 11:30 am, as he provides insight into the world of affordable housing, human service needs, and how members from every community can get involved. Click here to buy tickets.
EASTER AT THE HACC
The Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), and DOLL Inc. has partnered once again for an Easter Eggstravaganza at the HACC’s Vera Yates Homes on Saturday, April 19th, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Children at the Vera Yates Homes will have a blast hunting the property grounds for Easter Eggs, enter contests, jam to music from a DJ, and much more! Click here for more details!
SPRING JOB FAIR
Join the HACC and explore new employment opportunities at our spring job fair on Thursday, May 22nd, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, at Turlington West Apartments Community Room, located at 15306 S. Robey Avenue, in Harvey, IL. Job fairs are viewed as the first interview, as well as an opportunity for job seekers to gather information on companies they may desire to work for in the future.
Below are a few pointers to keep in mind when attending a job fair.
- Dress for an interview – never wear jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, or sandals, to a job fair; if you cannot wear a suit, nice slacks, and a collared shirt for men and for women, a skirt or blouse will be sufficient
- Bring plenty of resumes – proofread your resume beforehand and make sure that there are no typographical errors
- Gather as much information beforehand on employers who are scheduled to be at the fair, as to have a more in depth conversation with recruiters at the fair
- Do not just hand your resume to a recruiter at the fair; now is your time to shine, so highlight your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for a particular company
- Prepare questions for the recruiters whose companies you would like to work for and be prepared to be interviewed on the spot
- Have a firm handshake and make eye contact with recruiters at the fair
- Follow up with a thank-you email to recruiters you have spent time with at the fair, by making certain that you take a business card, or ask for the contact information of the person you speak with at the fair
Check back soon for the list of employers scheduled to be at the HACC’s spring job fair on May 22nd, and to RSVP, please call (312) 542-4728, or email email@example.com.
FIGHTING SUMMER HUNGER
With summer vacation for school age children on the horizon, playing in water parks or on swings is far from the minds of many children who depend on school meals for their daily nourishment.
For that reason and more, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and Catholic Charities 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 breakfast from 9:30 am to 10:00 am and lunch from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, for children 18 years of age and younger.
HACC staff will be trained by Catholic Charities on the planning, operation, monitoring and the record keeping compliance of the Summer Food Service Program.
“The number of people who are hungry at some point in the year has increased to one out of five in the Chicago-land area. Food pantries have reached their breaking point. Providing a nutritious breakfast and lunch to the kids who live in our communities is our way of stemming this unfortunate trend”, says Richard Monocchio, the HACC’s Executive Director.
The kick-off will be on Thursday, June 19, 2014, 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 29, 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.
Check back for other sites participating in the Summer Food Service Program.
VISIT OUR NEW E-PROCUREMENT PORTAL
Now, contractors who desire to do business with the HACC, need only to register their company and become immediately informed of new solicitation notices for services from the HACC, via e-mail. In addition to reviewing solicitation notices online, registered companies can now view a time-clock counting down the deadline for submitting proposals or bids. Companies are also updated via e-mail if there is an addendum to the original solicitation, as well as respond to a bid or Request for Proposals (RFP), or Request for Qualifications (RFQ) via the portal.
To visit the HACC’s new e-Procurement portal, click here and follow the directions to register.
SUMMIT GREETERS PROGRAM
The Greeters Program at Summit Senior Housing in Summit, IL, launched in April 2013, and consist of residents at Summit Senior Housing greeting guests as they enter the building, advising visitors to sign in before moving forward to visit a resident.
On February 3, 2014, another Greeter’s Program launched at the HACC’s Turlington West Apartments, in Harvey, IL. Look out for more Greeter Programs launching at other housing authority properties! (Summit Greeters in photo, left to right: Jerry Lackland, Myung Kim, LaDonna Nana, Ziamiah Akil, Edna Carter, Clarice Hill, Carolyn Howard, and Clarence Decker)
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.
HACC TO RESTORE TWO HOUSING COMMUNITIES IN EVANSTON
The HACC has been funded to restore two of our housing communities in Evanston, Illinois. The rehabilitation will entail at least $16 million worth of improvements to the Jane R. Perlman and Victor Walchirck Senior Apartments.
The award is from a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application that the HACC submitted to Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) in August 2013. Each year, the demand for tax credit applications far exceeds the amount available for allocation; therefore, applications that are submitted must measure up to the rigorous requirements set forth by IHDA.
The awarding of the tax credits would not have been possible without the support of Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois Housing Development Authority, 9th District Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky, 9th District Senator Daniel Biss, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Mayor of Evanston, Elizabeth Tisdahl, and many other affordable housing advocates who lend their support in favor of the HACC’s mission, which is to improve the lives of our residents.
The improvements will include structural, mechanical, electrical, and cosmetic upgrades. Individual units will be redecorated with new flooring, new fixtures, and cabinetry. By being able to to restore these buildings, it will extend the life of the properties by up to forty years, not only enhancing the lives of the current residents, but allowing those those that resides at the properties thereafter to reside in an environment that meet their needs.
BRINGING PLAY BACK TO CHILDHOOD
We did it! On Saturday, August 24, 2013, 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.
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.
This issue of Housing Highlights is dedicated to the Landlords in our Housing Choice Program (HCVP), because without them, we would not be able to effectively house families and individuals. In this issue, read about: Source of Income Protection, which went into effect on May 8, 2013, for all of suburban Cook County, a special message from our Executive Director, Richard Monocchio, How to Decrease Turnover and Increase Operating Capital, Three Ways for Landlords to Go Green, Inspection Updates and Improvements, Mobility Program, Communicating with your Tenants, and much more. If you would like to become a Landlord in our HCVP, please contact Debbie Kyker at (312) 542-4762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in this issue is an essay contest for HACC Kids, which entrants can still forward their essays to Tina Peterson at 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 350; Chicago, IL 60604, as well as Internet safety tips for children, healthy eating tips, and pictures from HACC Kids at Camp Nabad.
To check out our most recent issue of Housing Highlights, please click here.
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.