How the Program Works

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CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program allows low-income families to rent quality housing in the private market via federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the HCV Program, CHA pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the landlord. Families can use their vouchers to rent a house or apartment in the private market throughout the city of Chicago.  Because there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, CHA uses a waiting list to administer the program to eligible families.  The following steps summarize the process to become a HCV family:FSS7

  1. Apply and interview
  2. Attend a voucher briefing
  3. Use your voucher
  4. Await inspection results
  5. Await rent decision
  6. Sign the lease
  7. Move in, pay rent and utilities
  8. Comply with HUD and CHA’s rules and regulations

For more information see the Participant Guidebook

Waitlist

When a family wishes to receive assistance, the family must submit an application, when the wait list lottery is open.   CHA randomly selects applicants and assigns them a position on the wait list.  Generally, when a voucher becomes available, the next family at the top of the waiting list is contacted and screened for eligibility.

Eligibility 

Applicant families must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet HUD’s definition of family
  • Meet income limits specified by HUD
  • Qualify on the basis of citizenship or the eligible immigrant status
  • Provide social security number information
  • Sign required consent forms
  • Pass screening process

In some cases, an applicant family may meet certain CHA’s preference (see HCV’s Administrative Plan) or HUD’s targeted funding criteria (VASH , FUP , NED , MS5 ).  In those cases, CHA might move those families to the top of the waiting list.

65_SS-West_111309_033Portability

An eligible family that has been issued a housing choice voucher may use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a housing agency operating a HCV program. This feature of the program is referred to as portability. CHA’s HCV program allows for families with a voucher from another housing authority to transfer their voucher to Chicago. This process is called “porting in” to CHA. The process of transferring a voucher from one city to another varies, depending on a number of factors.  To view CHA’s current rules on portability see the Portability flyer

Regional Office Locations

The location of your HCV Program Regional Office may have changed.

Regional Office Locations and ZIP Codes Served

Central Office

South Office

West Office

60 E. Van Buren St.
Chicago, IL 60605 

10 W. 35th Street
5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60616 

2750 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608

Zip Codes Served: 

  • 60601
  • 60605
  • 60610
  • 60611
  • 60613
  • 60614
  • 60616
  • 60622
  • 60625
  • 60626
  • 60640
  • 60642
  • 60645
  • 60654
  • 60657
  • 60659
  • 60660

Zip Codes Served: 

  • 60615
  • 60617
  • 60619
  • 60620
  • 60627
  • 60628
  • 60633
  • 60637
  • 60643
  • 60649
  • 60653
  • 60655
  • 60827

 

Zip Codes Served: 

  • 60607
  • 60608
  • 60609
  • 60612
  • 60618
  • 60621
  • 60623
  • 60624
  • 60629
  • 60630
  • 60631
  • 60632
  • 60634
  • 60636
  • 60638
  • 60639
  • 60641
  • 60644
  • 60646
  • 60647
  • 60651
  • 60652
  • 60656
  • 60707

The Central Office services any ZIP codes not referenced above, all Applicants to the HCV Program as well as those who participate in CHA’s Special Programs (Family Self-Sufficiency, Mobility Counseling and Choose To Own Homeownership).

Every Regional provides a resource center that includes a wide range of information, internet access, property listings.  Each resource center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

FAQ

A complete list of Housing Choice Voucher questions is available.