The Chicago Housing Authority is one of the worst-managed public housing agencies in the nation, and its chairman should resign, according to a study prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"No one seems to be minding the store. What's more, no one seems to care," said the report, which was prepared by a 13-member panel of housing experts.

It said there was a widely held view that major changes are impossible without the resignation of the current chairman, Charles Swibel, and the appointment of a new chairman "with independence from the patronage system and a history of competent real estate management."

Noting that the agency, which houses nearly 142,000 people, has not turned in a balanced budget since 1977, with an operating deficit of more $34 million in 1980, the report also criticized local and regional offices of HUD, saying personnel there "have literally knuckled under to CHA's requests from fear of losing their jobs."

The report, delivered to Mayor Jane Byrne in January, was made public Tuesday by the Better Government Association, a citizens' watchdog group.

Swibel, a close adviser to Byrne and chairman of the CHA for 19 of the 26 years he has been on its board, said he had not seen a copy of the study.