A New Model for Integrating Housing and Services

Supporting Vulnerable Public Housing Families Brief #2

Posted December 30, 2010
By The Urban Institute
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This brief evaluates the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) traditional service Plan and the Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration service model according to the challenges faced and solutions implemented.  The Plan replaced the CHA’s notorious high-rise developments with new mixed-income housing, reinvested in and improved its remaining public housing stock, reversing its long history of dysfunctional internal management. The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration was created to develop effective strategies for addressing the needs of hard-to-house families within these borders. The report found that the Demonstration dramatically lowered caseloads to about half the standard load for CHA service providers and ensured consistency of care over time.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Hard to house residents had tough problems to conquer, but Demonstration staff were not deterred

Demonstration case managers uncovered one tough problem after another: women with severe depression; mothers at risk for losing custody of their children; grandmothers struggling to care for several grandchildren, some of whom were in trouble with the law; and substance abusers who were so in debt to drug dealers that the dealers had taken over their apartments. A full-time clinical supervisor was brought on board to help staff process all the challenges.