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The Chicago Housing Authority is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars even as the city’s affordable housing needs grow more dire, a study released last week confirmed.
......For nearly 10 years, the CHA has taken in more federal money than it has spent, piling up a reserve of $432 million in 2012, according to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a local think tank. The CHA says it’s down to $355 million. The Chicago Housing Initiative, a group of housing activists that has been highlighting this issue for more than a year, commissioned the study.
Most of these reserves are meant to go for capital development, but the CHA has failed to spend. There are legitimate explanations, including the recession, the collapse of the housing market and the complex nature of putting together mixed finance deals and ensuring community input.