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CHA Revises Policy After Criticism Of “Supervouchers”

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(CBS) — The Chicago Housing Authority is making changes to its voucher program after criticisms of so-called “supervouchers” that allow a handful to live in some of Chicago’s most expensive buildings.

Previously, low income residents could receive up to 300 percent of what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines to be fair market value for rent. The CHA has now lowered that number to 150 percent.

“After concluding a review and analysis of exception payment standards, we believe adjusting the policy strikes a critical balance between providing housing options for voucher participants and fiscal responsibility,” said CHA CEO Michael R. Merchant. “One of CHA’s key goals is to provide options for low-income families to live in neighborhoods throughout the city, and the HCV program is a critical component towards achieving that objective.”

The CHA says the goal of the 300 percent number was to expand housing options for low income residents. Approximately 260 families will be affected and they will have at least a year to move, according to the CHA.

Currently, the CHA says the exception payments represent less than two percent of its voucher program.

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