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Gianna Baker

Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance

Chicago, Illinois

Untapping the Vast Potential of Public Housing Authority Homeownership Programs


CAFHA spearheads a coalition of housing choice voucher holders and housing experts to advocate for improved Public Housing Authority Homeownership Programs as a powerful tool for wealth-building.


At its core, CAFHA engages in collaborative work that identifies opportunities and policy fixes needed to strengthen federally-funded Public Housing Authority Homeownership Programs, which are an existing and proven wealth-building tool for first generation Black homeowners. Since 2000, the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development has allowed local Public Housing Authorities to implement Homeownership Programs that shift participants from a typical voucher that pays a portion of monthly rent to a voucher that contributes to homeownership. Unfortunately, these homeownership programs remain largely inaccessible to voucher holders. CAFHA developed a groundbreaking policy report with targeted recommendations and best practices for mitigating these barriers. With about 85% of Cook County’s Housing Choice Voucher participants identifying as African American, CAFHA insists on PHA Homeownership as an opportunity to advance meaningful restitution for Black families who for decades have endured race-based redlining, wealth-stripping, mass displacement and other consequences of discriminatory policies. CAFHA is equipped with data, expertise, and key partnerships to advance a strong policy advocacy campaign that can help change the landscape for voucher homeownership and decrease the homeownership divide.

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