Choose To Own Homeownership Program (CTO)

The Choose To Own (CTO) Homeownership Program provides qualified public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) families with the opportunity to own a home.   The CTO process is similar to the conventional home buying process.  Families can purchase a single family home, townhome, condominium or cooperative anywhere within the City of Chicago. CTO has helped over 350 CHA families make the transition from renting to owning.

Most families utilize the voucher to pay a portion of their mortgage for up to 15-years – the same way families use a voucher to pay a portion of their rent.  Other CTO families are able to take on the full portion of their mortgage, and don’t require any financial assistance from CHA.  These families are able to transition directly into homeownership and out of subsidized housing. 


CTO Program Services

In addition to financial assistance toward the mortgage payment, the program provides pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education, credit counseling and other services to help families navigate the home-buying process and increase their chances of success. 

To qualify for CTO, a family’s head of household must meet the following requirements:

  • Earn at least $14,500 annually from employment*
  • Have a good credit history (credit score of 620 or higher)
  • Maintain personal savings that can be used toward a down payment 


Enrollment in CTO

Interested public housing residents or HCV participants should attend a CTO orientation session to find out more about the program and steps to achieving homeownership.  Refer to the Orientation Calendar for upcoming sessions. Interested families can also find out more about the program by contacting the HCV Call Center at 312-935-2600.

*Seniors and persons with disabilities may be exempt from the minimum income requirement and may be eligible for an additional term of mortgage assistance.


Additional Resources

Orientation Calendar for 2014