CHAS Holds the Key to Affordable Housing

    One challenge facing advocates for the homeless, is to helping simplify our community’s ability to solve homeless and build affordable housing.

     Anyone who has ever thought about it knows the simple problem and solution to homeless: “Some people have no place to live, so let’s build more homes.” On the other hand, any housing developer understands the complexities of financing, such as tax credits and tax abatement; land use strategies like zoning; and varying municipal building, housing, health, and safety codes.

     When Ohioans passed the Affordable Housing Amendment in 1990 and America legislated the National Affordable Housing Amendment in 1991, we strengthened the voice of the local community in the decision making by establishing CHAS.

      CHAS, the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy, is a requirement for any political jurisdiction receiving HUD funding. In Cuyahoga County, six entilement jurisdiction are required to produce a CHAS report at the end of the year. These jurisdictions are: Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Lakewood and Parma. 1992 will be the first year with reports based on the most recent (1990) census data.

       This housing strategy requires public hearing and representative community involvement in the decision making around local use of HUD funds, Cuyahoga County utilizes a number of HUD funds impacted by the CHAS to assist the homeless. These resources include Emergency Shelter Grants, Transitional Housing Programs, Shelter Plus Care, Supplemental Assistance for Facilities to Assist the Homeless (SAFAH), HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), to name a few.

        We ask that you become involved in the community-wide efforts to impact the CHAS and make housing more affordable to people who are homeless.

Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine Spring 1993 Issue