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#445 Chicago Department of Housing Racial Equity Impact Assessment


Sendy Soto, Managing Deputy Commissioner
Daniel Hertz, Director of Policy, Research, and Legislative Affairs

The Mission of the Chicago Department of Housing (DOH) is to expand access and choice for residents and protect their right to quality homes that are affordable, safe, and healthy. ​DOH is accomplishing its mission by ensuring, the equitable distribution of resources across all 77 communities so that every Chicagoan can choose and remain in quality housing that is affordable, safe, and healthy. ​As part of its efforts in ensuring that it is programs, initiatives and policies are working to improve access and choice to housing, in March, DOH released the results of a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) on its Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the distribution of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). LIHTC dollars represent the Department’s largest funding source for the creation of affordable rental housing. DOH’s REIA resulted in recommendations to increase opportunities for developers and contractors of color to participate, ensuring tenant applicants are not unfairly screened out by conviction records or credit scores and addressing resident’s mental health needs.

While the results of the REIA were just recently released, the department’s focus on racial equity has been at the forefront of its work especially since it once again became a standalone department in 2019 after ten years and Mayor Lightfoot’s appointment of Marisa Novara as Commissioner. Equitable distribution of resources was a vital focus during the departments first two rounds of COVID-19 emergency rental assistance so that communities most impacted by the virus were targeted, and anti-displacement measures passed for the Pilsen neighborhood and the areas surrounding the 606 and the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Notice so that long-time and low-income residents are not displaced due to neighborhood revitalization.

DOH also worked with the mayor’s office to release the “Blueprint for Fair Housing” a plan to address the City’s housing segregation, disparities in access to opportunity, and history of inequitable investment over the next five years. It will also open a third round of Emergency Rental Assistance next week for tenants and property owners impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns to help address immediate housing needs as a result of the pandemic, while it continues to its long-term planning and work toward quality housing for all. For more information about the Chicago Department of Housing and its programs and initiatives, visit

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.