CCH Policy Reports And Publications

Since 1980, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has had a clear mission: “We organize and advocate to prevent and end homelessness, because we believe housing is a human right in a just society.” We've collected all of our mission-driven policy documents here and provide access to downloadable documents as noted. Search, browse, access and get the facts, stats, and real story behind homelessness.
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2015 Estimate of Homeless People in Chicago

June 1, 2017

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has developed a new methodology for estimating the homelesspopulation in Chicago throughout the year. CCH uses a definition of homelessness which incorporatesall those considered homeless under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD)definition, and also incorporates portions of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) McKinney-Ventodefinition of homelessness. The DOE definition includes people who are living "doubled-up," which meansstaying with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship. CCH includes doubled-up households inour definition because it more accurately captures the way most people experience homelessness.The methodology uses the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey data to estimate the numberof doubled-up individuals in Chicago in 2015. It also uses data from the city's Homeless ManagementInformation System (HMIS) from 2015 to count those served in the shelter system. It then removes duplicatesby identifying individuals who experienced both forms of homelessness during the year.

A Drop in the Bucket: An Analysis of Resources to Address Home Foreclosure in Chicago

September 1, 2010

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is Chicago's primary source of funds to redevelop neighborhoods devastated by the home foreclosure crisis. Yet NSP is able to fund a minute fraction of the resources needed to effectively address the crisis. The city of Chicago has another available resource, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which could be used in a similar way to the way NSP dollars are used, though they are not currently being allocated for this purpose.Of the city's 159 TIF districts, all but three allow TIF funds to be used to purchase and rehabilitate properties. The Sweet Home Chicago ordinance, now pending before the Chicago City Council, would designate a yearly share of TIF funds to build and rehabilitate affordable housing, including foreclosed houses and apartment buildings. If enacted, TIF funds would complement the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, allowing the city to more significantly impact the continuing foreclosure crisis.This report examines the current impact of NSP, the extent to which TIF resources can be used to address foreclosures, and the resources available in TIF funds within neighborhoods hard hit by foreclosures.Key findings include:The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), launched in 2009, has already depleted 28 percent of its funding through the purchase and rehab of only 83 properties. These properties comprise less than 1 percent of the total number of foreclosures completed in Chicago during 2009 alone.The maximum number of foreclosed properties acquired in any of 27 NSP communities as of July 30, 2010 is 11.32% of home foreclosures in NSP communities occurred within TIF districts. These properties could be rehabilitated as affordable housing using TIF dollars.In 2009, 507 foreclosures were completed and 1,415 foreclosures were filed within TIF districts in communities that were ineligible for NSP.Communities reporting more than 50 foreclosures within a TIF district have uncommitted funds available in the TIFs within their boundaries. Estimates of uncommitted funds that will be available over the life of these TIF districts range from $19 million to $761 million.

Communities and Homelessness

Who's Getting Your Tax Dollars?

December 1, 2009

This report profiles corporations receiving Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money from downtown TIFs since 2000. Where public data is available, it shows the profits for these corporations as well as CEO compensation.The financial data raises questions about why these corporations are in need of Chicagoans' tax dollars -- and what the public benefits are. Most are highly profitable and reward their leadership with extravagant compensation. Corporate TIF recipients are required to maintain and/or increase jobs as a condition of receiving TIF funding, however the city's record of holding them accountable to this has not been stellar.

Facts and Statistics

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Funding and Affordable Housing: An analysis of current TIF resources and City of Chicago TIF-funded housing 1995-2008

July 31, 2009

A serious affordable housing crisis, which has plagued the City of Chicago for more than a decade, has deepened drastically during the last two years due to the rise in foreclosures and unemployment. Meanwhile, through its 158 active Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, the city has accumulated, and likely will continue to generate, a large surplus of funds that could be used to alleviate the affordable housing problem.TIF districts were created to promote revitalization of blighted or struggling neighborhoods, and the availability of affordable housing is instrumental to a neighborhood's stability. Unfortunately, the city's policy on the use of TIF funds for housing has not gone far enough to adequately address the fundamental need for affordable housing in developing neighborhoods. Expenditures on affordable housing have accounted for too small of a percentage of TIF funds. An even smaller percentage of TIF funds have supported housing affordable to people in the neighborhoods in which it is built and for those with the greatest housing needs.Key findings are:As of 2008, there was nearly $1 billion built up in Chicago's TIF accounts at least $350 million of which has not been dedicated to a particular project.[1]Between 1995-2007, only 4 percent of TIF funds were targeted for development of affordable housing.[2] (Note: 1995 was the first year the Chicago Department of Housing began issuing detailed reports on its production and spending)TIF funds have been used to create housing that is more expensive and targeted for higher incomes than existing housing in the neighborhoods in which it has been created. In 50 percent of the wards in which TIF-funded housing was built, at least half of the units were too expensive for current residents.[3]TIF-funded units go disproportionately to higher income households. Between 1995-2008, only 27 percent of the units created with TIF funds went to the households with the most critical needs -- those earning less than $20,000 a year.[4]Recommendations:Target 20 percent of TIF funds each year for affordable housing.For those targeted dollars, affordable should be defined as housing that meets the needs of neighborhood residents and those with the greatest need.This report was prepared by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless on behalf of the Sweet Home. Chicago Coalition.

Communities and Homelessness

How Many People Are Homeless in Chicago? An FY 2006 Analysis

December 21, 2006

Over the past three decades, homelessness has persisted as a serious problem in the city of Chicago. However, throughout that time, there has never been a comprehensive, reliable figure for the number of people who do not have a home. This is a significant gap in not only our public records, but in our public policy. By not adequately accounting for the city's homeless population, we are unable to understand the true scope of the problem and therefore are ill equipped to come up with realistic strategies and adequate resources to address it. Estimating the number of homeless people is a distinct challenge to do as they are a transient and often invisible population. The city of Chicago conducts a partial census of the city's single-night homeless population. That count includes those who are officially reported as being served in the city's homeless shelters that night and any homeless people that can be counted on the streets or other locations outside of shelters that night. This method has limitations because it is very difficult to locate every homeless person outside, particularly on a cold winter night. Also it does not include people living temporarily with others because they cannot afford housing. This is often referred to as "doubled-up." Counting those not served in shelters or on the street may be difficult, but it is imperative to do so. To meet this challenge, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago Survey Research Laboratory, developed a methodology that is designed to count both those served in shelters and those who never access shelters. The Survey Research Laboratory helped shape the methodology and reviewed the findings of the analysis. Every effort has been made to make this a conservative effort and to avoid duplication.

Facts and Statistics

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Illinois: 2005

December 1, 2005

This report was prepared for the Illinois Department of Human Services by Timothy P. Johnson and Ingrid Graf of the Survey Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and coordinated by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.This document reports the findings from a study designed to (1) assess the needs of unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) in Illinois and (2) provide statewide estimates of the number of these youth in Illinois. For the purposes of this project, an unaccompanied homeless youth was defined as an individual age 21 or younger who, at the time of data collection, was not primarily in the care of a parent or legal guardian and who lacked a safe or stable living arrangement. Wards of the state or youth who had formed stable private living arrangements did not fit our definition.This study included two main data collection efforts: (1) a representative survey of service providers in Illinois who provide assistance to unaccompanied homeless youth and (2) a representative survey of UHY currently receiving services in Illinois.

Children and Youth and Homelessness

Directory of Shelters and Resources for the Homeless

January 1, 2002

A Chicago-area guide. This publication available in hardcopy only.

Directories and Guides

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