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CHA saluted for increasing college access to college students, the homeless

Kresge Foundation report recognizes four other housing authorities for “trailblazing” efforts

CHA was among five pioneering public housing authorities recently recognized in a Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) report for its collaboration with postsecondary institutions to increase college access, retention and graduation rates for public housing residents and college students who are experiencing homelessness.

“Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success: Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Students Served by Public Housing Authorities,” a report supported by The Kresge Foundation, lauds CHA, Tacoma Housing Authority, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and Louisville Metropolitan Housing Authority, and identifies key elements of effective cross-sector collaborations.

“The trailblazing public housing authorities featured in our new report, along with their postsecondary partners, are redefining the traditional role of public housing in their communities to reach beyond four walls and a roof,” said CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman.

The report elevates 11 findings from a November 2018 convening in Washington, D.C., where partners from CHA, City Colleges of Chicago, and One Million Degrees, and the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and Tacoma Community College, discussed their work to provide financial support and housing opportunities for residents and housing of insecure college students.

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and partner Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN) detailed their program to facilitate the college application and enrollment process among young residents, and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and partner Columbus State Community College, and the Louisville Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) with partner Family Scholar House explained their dual generation approaches to ensuring young parents can graduate with a degree.

“The Chicago Housing Authority is proud to support thousands of residents through CHA scholarships and the Partners in Education program with the City Colleges of Chicago,” said Cassie Brooks, assistant director of education for CHA. “In pairing grant aid with individual counseling, we continue toward the goals of increased academic achievement and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. We thank the Kresge Foundation and CLPHA for collaborating with public housing agencies, highlighting resident successes and bringing resident post-secondary programs to the forefront.”

Bethany Miller, program officer with the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, said: “Housing insecurity and homelessness can create tragic off-campus barriers to student persistence and success. “But solutions-driven partnerships, including those highlighted in CLPHA’s recent analysis, between postsecondary institutions, government agencies and departments, nonprofit social service providers and public housing authorities can tear down those barriers, ease the anxiety of housing insecurity and help more students persist and succeed in college. We support this work because increased educational attainment among students with limited means is the key to breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and increasing socioeconomic mobility.”

“Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success” also includes an overview of the federal policies that support and limit postsecondary achievement for students served by PHAs, and profiles of the five partnerships.

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