Public Housing:

Status of HUD's Takeover of the Chicago Housing Authority

T-RCED-95-275: Published: Sep 5, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1995.

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GAO discussed the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) takeover of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), focusing on: (1) whether HUD chose an appropriate method of staffing CHA; (2) obstacles HUD will face in rebuilding CHA; and (3) HUD accomplishments in revitalizing Chicago's public housing units. GAO noted that: (1) HUD seemed to make the best decision possible in taking over CHA with its own and borrowed staff, since key CHA staff resigned and Chicago's mayor did not support receivership; (2) HUD will face several obstacles in rebuilding CHA, such as the deteriorated condition of 40,000 CHA housing units, the cumbersome organizational structure of CHA, residents' distrust of proposed changes, major crime and security problems, federal laws and regulations, and insufficient funding; (3) in the last 3 months, HUD has reorganized CHA management, privatized selected functions, and developed short-term plans to improve maintenance and security, rehabilitate its physical stock, and foster community development; and (4) HUD still must hire key upper-level managers for CHA and commit to a long-term plan to phase itself out of CHA in order to gain the trust of residents, CHA staff, and the city.

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