Chicago introduces first homelessness officer to tackle housing crisis

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has announced Sendy Soto as the city’s inaugural Chief Homelessness Officer (CHO), a pivotal step towards addressing the city’s homelessness. Soto’s role includes leading a cross-departmental effort to develop a comprehensive five-year plan aimed at ending homelessness in Chicago.

“I’m thrilled to have Sendy join us in our mission to ensure housing is recognized as a fundamental human right across Chicago,” Mayor Johnson stated. He emphasized the creation of the CHO position as a critical move to foster collaboration and overcome barriers to securing stable housing. The announcement coincided with the opening of Lawson House, a project that revitalized a historic building into over 400 affordable apartments, symbolizing the city’s commitment to expanding housing access.

Soto, bringing two decades of experience in public policy and housing, is poised to spearhead initiatives that not only address homelessness but also aim to enhance the city’s housing diversity and affordability. This appointment, supported by a collaborative grant from Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness, marks a significant commitment to eradicating homelessness through sustainable and innovative solutions.

Lawson House, a testament to Chicago’s dedication to preserving affordable housing, has been modernized to provide a dignified living space for hundreds, maintaining affordability for the next 50 years. This development, along with Soto’s appointment, underscores Chicago’s proactive stance on creating inclusive, stable, and thriving communities through focused leadership and collaborative efforts in housing policy.–News Desk