Chicago Housing Authority.


Chicago Housing Authority Development records




Chicago History Museum


16.0 Linear feet



Historical note

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is a municipal corporation established in 1937 to administer public housing in Chicago. Over the years, CHA built many public housing projects, mostly on the South Side of Chicago and primarily serving low-income families although some projects were built in other neighborhoods and planned for other demographic groups. Some of the most prominent projects were the Cabrini-Green Homes (begun in 1942), the ABLA complex (begun in 1943), the Stateway Gardens Homes (begun in 1955), and Robert Taylor Homes (begun in 1962). ABLA included the Jane Addams Homes, Robert Brooks Homes (including the Robert Brooks Extension), Loomis Courts, and the Grace Abbott Homes. Over the years, the majority of CHA residents were African American, and the selection of sites for public housing often involved controversy. CHA was accused of racial discrimination and segregation and was brought to court in 1966 in a lawsuit filed by Dorothy Gautreaux and other tenants. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took control of CHA, and its supervision lasted until 2000, when Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago regained authority over CHA and began housing renovations and redesigns.

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, research files, newsletters, press releases, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, maps, transcripts of speeches, and other records of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). Most of the materials relate to CHA's city development plans for the placement of public housing, including ordinances, easements, urban renewal studies, and issues in administering the agency. Also present are materials on activities by and for tenants; complaint files; and files concerning civil rights, affirmative action, and the 1966 racial discrimination lawsuit against CHA filed by Dorothy Gautreaux and other tenants.

Processing Information note

This collection was surveyed as part of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium's Survey Initiative on 2010 June 15 by Lisa Calahan and Andrew Steadham.

Conditions Governing Access note

Access to this collection is restricted; please contact the holding institution for details.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Chicago Housing Authority.