Area of Work: Assisted Rental Housing

Campaign: RentBetter

Client: Chicago Housing Authority

Years of Involvement: 2008

Challenge:

To create awareness to ensure a diverse and broad applicant pool for the Wait List Lottery through which those seeking housing assistance in the private market could find help through the Federal HCV program.

Approach:

Re-brand the Section 8 program (which became “RentBetter”, engage a broad variety of community, immigrant and civic groups as well as government officials and entities in the outreach process, and create a multi-layered advertising/media/public awareness process that entailed use of transit/advertising/media placements/ and web outreach and web sites in 5 discrete languages.

Activities (select):

  • Re-branding of HCV/Section 8 program
  • Creation of all print and electronic advertising and informational materials, including materials in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Polish
  • Creation and implementation of paper and online registration process
  • Involvement of 350 community, business, social service and municipal partners in extensive educational outreach including community meetings
  • Coordination of 350 sites for distribution of materials and registration for the program
  • Outreach to and through all Chicago Aldermen and federal elected officials
  • Coordination of all media events and coverage

Accomplishments (select):

  • Received 279,000 applications in four weeks from applicants in every language, ethnic and racial group
  • Resulted in (as a result of the lottery) in a wait list of 40,000 persons that is far more diverse than ever before
  • Over 230,000 lottery registration forms received for 40,000 spots on the wait list
  • Large racial and ethnic diversity of registrants
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