(CBS) — Demonstrators in Chicago Coalition for the Homeless yellow t-shirts flooded the mayor’s fifth floor lobby cheering new CHA procedures that now let ex-offenders apply for public housing, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

CCH Director Ed Shurna told the crowd of 50 it’s a long needed change as he noted the story of Reverend Charles Austin who did 78 days for cocaine sales 20 years ago and has been barred ever since from public housing.

“There’s people like the minister that committed a crime over 20 years ago, served his time, but still can’t get access to housing,” Shurna said.

Shurna said the City Hall gathering both thanked the Mayor for opening up CHA waiting lists to ex-offenders and got out the word that ex-offenders with clean records can now apply with one online registration to three CHA programs at the same time: CHA Public Housing, Section 8 vouchers, as well as Property Rental Assistance.

After speeches and testimonials on the fifth floor of Chicago City Hall, the group marched over to CHA headquarters, 60 E. Van Buren.