(Cook County, IL) – Earlier this week, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), Richard Monocchio, announced year-end data for HACC’s Community Choice Program (CCP). 101 CCP participants were able to make successful moves to “Areas of Opportunity” through the CCP in 2018. 265 participants have now made successful moves since the program launched in 2016.
Residents who enroll in the program complete a series of workshops, presented by CCP Mobility Counselors, aimed at providing information that is helpful in searching and securing a rental unit in these areas. Topics covered in workshops include financial literacy, tenants’ rights and housing search tips.
After completing the mobility workshops, residents are assigned a CCP Mobility Counselor who provides 1-on-1 assistance before, during and after an opportunity move. Residents are also eligible for up to $1000 in assistance to put toward their security deposit or $350 toward a move-in fee.
Landlords with property in Areas of Opportunity are also provided with incentives through the program. Property owners interested in renting to participants in the CCP are offered expedited paperwork and inspection processes through HACC as well as tenant referrals from CCP Mobility Counselors. CCP Mobility Counselors regularly hold Landlord Workshops in Areas of Opportunity to introduce landlords to the program.
“The work being done through the Community Choice Program is helping put back the ‘choice’ in the Housing Choice Voucher Program throughout suburban Cook County,” said Richard Monocchio. “The fact is that we’re living in a time when your zip code often determines many of the opportunities you have in life,” he continued. “We’re proud of our efforts to help provide access to Areas of Opportunity throughout our jurisdiction.”
While the mobility program model is a relatively new strategy taken on by Public Housing Authorities, program evaluations show improved outcomes for residents who make moves to Areas of Opportunity, including improved educational outcomes for children and higher paying jobs for head of households.