The DuPage Housing Authority is the recipient of new housing vouchers designed to expand affordable housing options awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The announcement came ahead of the State of the County address last month during which DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin made remarks about the state of affordable housing in DuPage County.
The DuPage Housing Authority received more than $600,000, which will help provide 60 new mainstream housing vouchers for non-elderly households with at least one disabled person.
Cronin has said the housing authority received a good report from the regional office of Housing and Urban Development.
“I think there’s some great days ahead for affordable housing in DuPage,” Cronin said.
The housing vouchers will help pay for rent in privately owned buildings or units. Those that are served by the program are required to come off the housing authority’s waitlist.
However, the route to the waitlist differs from the process taken by general applicants, officials said.
Kenny Coles, executive director of the DuPage Housing Authority, said a new mainstream waitlist is being compiled, taking into account the time and date of application and qualifying preferences that include the applicants who already were on the housing authority’s list and new applicants who were submitted by the county’s continuum of care.
The last time the housing authority’s waitlist opened was March 2019.
“Typically, we reach 1,500 applicants pretty quickly,” Coles said.
Coles said it takes between 20 to 24 months to serve 1,500 applicants.
In remarks during a recent news conference, DuPage County Board Vice Chairman Jim Zay said the new vouchers will go a long way toward effecting change.
“HUD’s new allocation of 60 mainstream vouchers will make a life-changing difference to people with disabilities looking to find appropriate housing,” Zay said. “People impacted include disabled adults who are currently experiencing homelessness, who are threatened by homelessness and, importantly, those who have been successfully re-housed ... but now need long-term housing support. These vouchers will help to create a true continuum of care and support for individuals and families who would otherwise struggle to successfully maintain housing.”
Zay said the new vouchers will allow the DuPage Housing Authority and other local providers to better serve those in need.
“With these vouchers, DuPage will be able to help some clients ‘move on’ when they no longer require intensive supports, but still need help to maintain their housing,” he said. “The 2019 HUD Mainstream Voucher program will allow the DuPage Housing Authority to partner with local service providers who will find clients appropriate housing through the voucher program, freeing up permanent supportive housing, with intensive service supports, for many others in need.”