Housing authorities pause for thought in Chicago

The Chicago Housing Authority is revising its goals and methods for its Plan for Transformation for public housing development, 12 years after the city's program went into effect.

The CHA's public housing redevelopment efforts have achieved a degree of success in using funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support partnerships with private developers. The resulting construction efforts focused on building mixed-income communities to replace specific sites that concentrated poverty, reducing density and diversifying communities, according to Apartment Finance Today.

Builders added a combination of market-rate and affordable condominiums, rental and for-sale housing and public housing units. The CHA is more than 80 percent of the way to completing its prior goal of rehabilitating or demolishing 25,000 units in a decade, the news source reports. Now, however, an assessment of the current progress and the state of the housing market have motivated a change of plans. Constructing market-rate for-sale housing and affordable rental apartments effectively re-created the split along income lines, some experts say, defeating the purpose.

It is not yet clear what direction the CHA will adopt or how its changing vision will impact the market. Rental property management firms in the area could see more competition or new opportunities if additional multifamily units are built.