Frequently Asked Questions

The following list contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about CHA policy and issues associated with the Plan for Transformation. Many of these answers include links to portions of our web site where additional information can be found.

Family Wait List Lottery FAQs
Housing Choice Voucher Program FAQs
Doing Business with CHA FAQs

What is the Plan for Transformation?

The Plan for Transformation is a blueprint for the comprehensive renewal of public housing in Chicago. Under the Plan, 25,000 units of public housing will be redeveloped or rehabilitated.

The Plan is also an opportunity to establish connections between public housing residents and services that encourage self-sufficiency, such as employment and job training programs. Equipped with skills learned in these programs, public housing residents can establish pathways that lead to economical and personal growth, and decrease their dependence on government subsidies.

Finally, the Plan allows CHA to institute reforms within the Authority that ensure managerial and financial accountability and fosters transparency with the public and other municipal and federal agencies.

Is the Plan for Transformation causing residents to become homeless?
The process of relocation does not increase the risk of homelessness for CHA families. CHA and resident leaders have agreed to a Relocation Rights Contract, which grants residents a legally enforceable right to return to public housing after redevelopment is completed and also states that CHA will provide temporary housing to residents during redevelopment. All families have a replacement housing unit identified for them three months prior to their building closing. This ensures that even if a family has not found a private market rental unit, or is ineligible for a voucher, the family will have a place to go when their building closes.

CHA works in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Human Services to identify non-leaseholders in buildings scheduled for closure and directs them to a variety of supportive services to assist them in finding housing.
Have a disproportionate number of CHA residents relocated to Chicago’s south suburbs?
Very few CHA residents have relocated outside of the city of Chicago. During the first two years of the Plan for Transformation, only about 30 families moved to the South Suburbs using a Housing Choice Voucher provided by CHA.

It should be stressed that families are moving with Housing Choice Vouchers. Ultimately, it is HCV holders’ choice as to where they want to live – a fundamental right provided to each participant of the voucher program, as well as every Chicagoan. HUD regulations explicitly prohibit public housing authorities from directly or indirectly reducing families’ opportunity to select among available units.

Relocated families follow similar patterns as other voucher holders. Most families using a Housing Choice Voucher, whether they are from the general list or are CHA relocating families, choose to stay in or around the community where they previously lived have family, friends, and connections to that community. Most relocated CHA residents plan to return to their developments after revitalization has been completed.
What is the effect of the Plan for Transformation on segregation patterns in Chicago?
CHA is committed to ending the isolation of public housing residents through the Plan for Transformation. Inherent in this effort is an attempt to de-concentrate poverty by supporting residents as they move from public housing to their new homes. All residents who move out of public housing may choose to move to an opportunity area (an area where less than 24.9% of the population is below poverty level). Additionally, families in the Housing Choice Voucher program who are making a second move will receive counseling and support services to assist them in moving to an opportunity area.

Other efforts to increase the distribution of vouchers to opportunity areas include new contracts with relocation counselors that provide them with additional financial incentives for moving families to these economically rich areas; increased landlord outreach; and the future creation of satellite offices to support landlords and voucher holders in various neighborhoods throughout Chicago.
Why have I received a flyer with my rent statement about the ACOP, Residential Lease Agreement (Lease), Pet Policy or Moving to Work Annual Plan?

You were sent this flyer to inform you about a public comment period for a proposed drafted document. Whenever revisions or policy changes are needed, CHA holds a public comment period that gives residents, applicants and the general public an opportunity to review the proposed policy changes and provide oral and written feedback to CHA before changes are passed by the CHA Board.
What is the ACOP?
The Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) is CHA’s policy governing admissions to and continued occupancy at public housing units owned by CHA.
What is the Residential Lease Agreement?
The Residential Lease Agreement is the agreement between CHA and a resident that outlines the terms and conditions of his or her tenancy in public housing units owned by CHA.
What is the Pet Policy?
The Pet Policy outlines the requirements for residents who wish to keep common household pets, such as dogs and cats, in their CHA public housing units.
What is the Grievance Procedure?
The Grievance Procedure dictates the steps that residents and property managers must follow when a resident is grieving a decision that affects their residency in public housing.
To whom do the ACOP, Lease, Pet Policy, and Grievance Procedure apply?
These policies apply to applicants and residents of public housing units owned by CHA. Unless otherwise stated, they do not apply to residents living in public housing units in mixed-income/mixed-finance communities or tenants of city-state properties.
Why is the CHA revising these policies and documents?
CHA regularly reviews its policies, procedures and plans to remain compliant with federal, state and local regulations. Therefore, CHA is revising these policies to adopt or amend practices that require policy changes, and codify procedures that require policy revisions.
When will these policies take effect?
CHA will notify residents via a written notice in the mail of the schedule for implementation. Policies become effective when CHA Board of Commissioners (Board) approves them. Residential Lease Agreements become effective for residents when they sign it at their annual re-examination.
Will I be required to sign the Draft Lease?
No, it is a draft for you to review. Residents living in public housing units owned by CHA will be informed when they must sign the revised lease.
Do I have to attend the public comment hearing?
While CHA encourages all residents and welcomes the public to participate, you are not required to attend any public comment hearing.
If I attend the hearing, do I have to make a comment?
No, you are not required to make an oral comment on the drafts at the meeting. The alternative is to provide written comments at the meeting or send written comments to CHA.
Where can I send my written comments on the current drafted MTW Annual Plan?
Mail: Chicago Housing Authority
Attn:  Draft FY2010 MTW Annual Plan
60 E. Van Buren Street, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Subject:  Draft FY2010 MTW Annual Plan

Fax:  312.913.7837
Attention:  Draft FY2010 MTW Annual Plan
Where can I send my written comments on other drafted policies, procedures and documents?
Mail: Chicago Housing Authority
Attn: Draft (Document Name)
60 E. Van Buren St., 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Subject: Draft (Document Name)

Fax: (312) 913-7307
Attention: Draft (Document Name)
Where can I pick up a copy of the draft documents?
Copies of the draft documents will be available at:
  • Chicago Housing Authority 60 E. Van Buren St., 10th Floor;
  • Central Advisory Council and Local Advisory Council Offices;
  • CHA Property Management Offices;
  • Latino Site Offices; and
  • CHA Website
May I request a copy of the proposed draft documents be mailed to me?
Yes. Please call CHA at 312.786.6996 or 312.913.7300 and provide your mailing information. If you have internet access you can go to and print a copy of the draft documents, or send an email to or requesting a copy.
I have questions directly related to the content of the proposed drafted document. Who should I contact?
Call 312.786.6996 to ask a question or state a concern about the ACOP, Lease, Pet Policy, Grievance Procedure or Tenant Selection Plans.  Call 312.913.7300 to ask a question or state a concern about the MTW Annual Plan.