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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Sweet Home Chicago: The Story of an Affordable Housing Campaign

May 1, 2012

The Sweet Home Chicago (SHC) Coalition was comprised of nine community organizations and two labor unions that conducted a two and a half year campaign that resulted in passage of the Vacant Building TIF Purchase Rehab Program on May 4, 2011. This ordinance is one of the very few pieces of legislation to benefit low-income people that passed during Mayor Richard Daley's 22 years in office.

Housing and Homelessness

State Budget Cuts Will Guarantee More Households Becoming Homeless this Winter

November 21, 2011

Deep cutbacks in state funding have jeopardized two high-need programs that help Illinois households that are at immediate risk of becoming homeless, or already homeless and trying to get re-housed.Illinois' Homeless Prevention Grant program has had yearly funding cut by 87% ($9.5 million) since FY 2008, and Emergency and Transitional Housing was cut by 52% ($4.7 million) in the FY 2012 state budget. An October 2011 survey shows that because of these cuts, as we head into the winter months:Half of the Illinois agencies that distribute homeless prevention grants to households will have no funds remaining by the end of December -- so no new funds will be available until July 2012.Across Illinois, 62% of state-funded emergency shelters and transitional housing programs have already.

Facts and Statistics

The Facts Behind the Faces: A Fact Sheet from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (2011)

November 21, 2011

More than 656,000 people experienced homelessness on a typical night in the United States in 2011. Nearly two-thirds of people suffering from homelessness are individuals and the other third are people in families (parents and their children). There was a 3 percent rise in homelessness na-tionwide between 2008 and 2009, with the number of people suffering from homelessness increasing in 31 states. Meanwhile, "doubled-up" households that move in with friends or relatives in order to reduce their housing cost burden, rose 12 percent over the course of 2009. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 93,779 unduplicated individuals exper-ence homelessness over the course of a year. One of the primary data sources is the number of homeless children identified by the public schools. We believe this to be one of the most reliable data sources on numbers of homeless people. The past two years, the number of homeless children in Chicago Public Schools increased 24% , to 15,580 in 2010-11. The city of Chicago does a point-in-time count every other year to deter-mine the number of homeless people in shelters or on the street one night. The 2011 count was done on January 25, 2011 and found 6,546 individuals who were homeless that night. Includes national, state, and local data; information about youth homelessness, violence and homelessness, and incarceration homelessness; charts, graphs, and statistics.

Children and Youth and Homelessness; Criminal Justice System and Homelessness; Facts and Statistics; Violence and Violent Crime

Giving Hope: The City of Chicago Task Force on Homeless Youth Report

April 12, 2011

Homeless youth are defined in this report as unaccompanied young people ages 14-25 that do not have a safe, stable place to live. Youth often leave home or are forced out due to physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse by a parent, and long-term family economic problems. Pregnant and parenting teens, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youth, and current and former wards are disproportionately represented in the homeless youth population. During the 2009-2010 school year, the Chicago Public Schools identified 3,682 unaccompanied homeless youth in school. Based on CPS data, data from shelters, and data from other research on homelessness, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has developed a methodology to estimate total numbers of homeless youth, children, and adults each year including those living doubled up. According to this estimate, there were a total of 11,471 homeless youth ages 18-21 in Chicago during the 09-10 school year. This includes youth who were not in school or were not identified by the schools. Shelter and housing programs in Chicago do not come close to meeting the need for housing for young people. A survey conducted for this report found that the eight programs providing shelter and housing to homeless youth turned away 4,775 requests for housing from youth in a year. When youth are not able to access shelter they are extremely vulnerable to physical and sexual victimization on the streets. Background on the City of Chicago Task Force on Homeless YouthThe City of Chicago Task Force on Homeless Youth is a network of city and state agency officials, youth providers and advocates, and homeless youth working to address the issue of youth homelessness in Chicago. The group was developed through the advocacy of the H.E.L.L.O. youth activism group.H.E.L.L.O. stands for Homeless Experts Living Life's Obstacles and is composed of homeless and formerly homeless youth and co-sponsored by The Night Ministry, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), and Lakeview Action Coalition. The group is rooted in community organizing and positive youth development principles. The youth educate the public, policy-makers and the media about issues affecting homeless and unaccompanied youth while learning to communicate effectively and non-violently. The group is very diverse, consisting of youth of color, pregnant and parenting teens, and LBGTQ youth.Every year, H.E.L.L.O. hosts a homeless youth "art show and speak out", where youth are invited to submit spoken word and visual arts pieces. Over 200 members of the community attend the show each year. In November of 2009, Mayor Daley attended the Art Show. He spoke briefly and promised the youth in attendance he would meet with them to discuss how the city can better serve homeless youth.In January 2010, 25 members of the H.E.L.L.O. Group had a private meeting with Mayor Daley and other city officials. The youth shared their stories and gave a presentation on different ways the city can improve services for homeless youth. They identified five different areas in which the city could improve services for homeless youth: transportation, education, jobs, increased shelter beds, and improved drop-in services.The Mayor also committed to the creation of a city-wide homeless youth task force. The Department of Family and Support Services hosted the task force. Out of the task force, five work groups were developed to work on the specific issues identified by the youth. Each work group met over several months, researched their area of concern, collected information and developed recommendations that the City of Chicago could use to guide a citywide effort to first improve the plight of homelessness experienced by youth and eventually eradicate this problem. Homeless youth were represented on each workgroup and were given a chance to react to the recommendations. Finally, the task force as a whole approved the recommendations. This report represents the recommendations of the city-wide youth task force.

Children and Youth and Homelessness

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

Olympics Impact Affordable Housing, Homeless People and Housing Rights

September 1, 2008

As Chicago waits to hear whether it will be chosen to host the 2016 Olympics, it is importantfor housing advocates to be aware of how housing rights have been impacted in other Olympic host cities around the globe. While the Olympics are an opportunity to showcase a city to the world, the development that comes with hosting the games can often have very negative consequences, particularly for poor and marginalized people.Looking at the past 20 years of experiences of Olympic host cities, what is revealed are some rather devastating impacts on housing rights. In fact, all cities that have hosted the Olympic Games suffer similar negative consequences.

Communities and Homelessness; Housing and Homelessness

Homelessness: Facts and Figures

April 1, 2008

Causes of homelessness are multiple and complex. Public focus often centers on personal problems, which can be contributing factors but do not alone cause homelessness.Our flawed economic and political systems fail to pro- mote justice and equality. Institutionalized racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination create barriers to economic advancement. This fact sheet illustrates the tangible results of these larger issues, which include a dire shortage of affordable housing and healthcare, supportive services, and living-wage jobs.

Facts and Statistics

Results of 2007 Survey of Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Providers

December 20, 2007

This report demonstrates the extent to which homeless youths are underserved in Illinois. Though the statistics show that homeless youth programs are successful in helping youths achieve their potential, far too many youths never have the opportunity to access needed services.

Children and Youth and Homelessness

Alternatives to Incarceration for Women

July 6, 2007

Women in Illinois are incarcerated at record rates and at enormous cost to the state. Most are jailed for nonviolent offenses and have experienced trauma, addiction, and economic and social barriers. As a result of women's ncarceration, their children are more likely to have sychological health issues, to be placed in foster care, and to engage in delinquent behavior.Many of these women do not receive treatment and therefore become repeat offenders or parole violators. This trend is likely to be reversed if women are provided with the services they need instead of incarceration. These services include educational services, drug treatment, family reunification services, and individual and family counseling. Research shows that addressing women's multiple needs through well-designed programs, such as "Families Building Communities" in Chicago and "Positive Options, Referrals and Alternatives" in Springfield, can save the state money and help women recover.

Women and Homelessness

How Many People Are Homeless in Chicago? A Fiscal Year 2006 Analysis (key findings)

April 1, 2007

Over the past three decades, homelessness has persisted as a serious problem in the city of Chicago. However, throughout that time, a comprehensive, reliable figure for the number of people who do not have a home has not been determined. This is a significant gap not only in our public records but also 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. Thus, we are ill equipped to come up with realistic strategies and adequate resources to address homelessness.

Facts and Statistics

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