Frequently Asked Questions

The following list contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about doing business or getting involved with the CHA.
How can I do business with the CHA?
The CHA has multiple procurement and contract opportunities in accordance with federal regulations. To learn about these opportunities visit our Open Solicitations page.
Who does CHA buy from?
CHA is an equal-opportunity/affirmative-action organization that buys from technically and financially responsible business entities specializing in the following areas:
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Commodities, Work Services, Automotive & Heavy Equipment
  • Professional Services, Information Systems & Services
What is a bid?
A bid is a formal statement of the CHA's needs. It will describe in detail what goods or services are required and explain the procedures that must be followed to submit a response, Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
How can I find out about upcoming projects or which ones to bid on?
Visit our Open Solicitations page. If you see a project that corresponds with the commodities or services you provide, download the specifications from BuySpeed or pick up a hard copy on the 13th Floor of CHA Headquarters (60 E. Van Buren Street).
How do I bid on a CHA contract?
After you have identified the specification(s) for which you would like to place a bid, you may obtain a bid packet from CHA Department of Procurement and Contracts. You must submit your price quotation and provide all information requested in the bid/proposal documents. All information must either be typed or written in ink.

Be sure that your bid/proposal is accurate, signed and notarized in the appropriate places (e.g. corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship), with all required signatures included. Please note that you must submit documents with original signatures where required; photocopied signatures will result in disqualification of the entire bid package.
What if I have a question while I am filling out my bid documents?
Contact the buyer listed on the specification cover sheet.  This should be the same contact person listed on the downloadable Contract Opportunities document.
When are bids opened?
Each specification and Bid Opening Schedule should indicate a time and date bids will be opened and read publicly.  Bids and proposals received after the hour and date indicated will not be considered. Proposals are not opened publicly. The public is invited to attend all bid openings.
What disqualifies a bid?
Bids and RFP's/RFQ's can be disqualified for the following reasons:
  • Returned late/after the bid opening day
  • Contains incomplete documents
  • Is missing required notary or original signatures
  • Is missing documents
Please note that this list is provided as a guide and is not all-inclusive.
Does a vendor need to be pre-qualified to bid?
If a vendor can provide the goods and/or services requested in the invitation for bid, the business may bid on the specification. However, specifications that are identified as an “Alternative Procurement Program” are restricted to certified CHA Resident-Owned Businesses.
Can bid openings be faxed?
Due to the volume of requests, we cannot fax bid opening lists or specifications. However, you can view contract opportunities from our site. Specifications can be picked up at CHA's Department of Procurement and Contracts, 60 E. Van Buren Street, 13th floor.
Does a vendor need to pay for bid specifications?
Only construction contract bidders must submit a non-refundable $100 cashier’s check for a copy of the specifications. Non-construction specifications are still free. Bidders that are unable or unwilling to pay for specifications can view them at designated locations listed on the solicitation during normal business hours.
Can bids be made by vendors from outside the county or state?
Yes.
What if you change the specification after I've already picked it up?
Every bidder who picks up a specification document is asked to leave a business card or contact information, so they can be contacted if there is a change. Any addendums will be mailed to the business address.
How does the CHA process payments to vendors?
Each user department has its own process of paying approved invoices. Department-specific invoicing procedures are included in each bid document.
What records are available for public inspection, and at what point in the contract award process may they be inspected?
A CHA contract is available for inspection by any member of the general public ONLY after it has been awarded. Bid tabulation sheets, which are compiled on the day of the bid openings, may be requested from the designated buyer of the contract or procurement. Awarded CHA contracts are available for download via the Vendor and Contract Search provided through the City of Chicago.  You can also request a copy of a contract from CHA’s Freedom of Information Act Officer.