Choose to Own Homeownership Program

Homeownership Celebration

Homeowner Susan Tovar (center) of Chicago’s Southwest Side is joined by Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd Ward) (far left), Samantha Arroyo, Homeownership Counselor at The Resurrection Project and CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. as they congratulate Ms. Tovar for becoming a homeowner through the CHA’s Choose to Own program which enables qualified public housing and housing choice voucher residents to become homeowners.


CHA’s Choose to Own Homeownership Program (CTO) allows qualified Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) families to use their housing subsidy to buy a home and receive monthly assistance with a portion of their mortgage. In addition to financial assistance toward the mortgage payment, the CTO program provides referrals to 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 and self-sufficiency. 

Most CTO families utilize the voucher to pay a portion of their mortgage – the same way families use a voucher to pay a portion of their rent. CHA uses the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to help families pay a portion of their monthly mortgage payment for up to 15 years (up to 30 years for head of households who are elderly or disabled). Other families are able to take on the full mortgage payment and don’t require financial assistance from the CHA. These families are able to transition directly out of subsidized housing. 

Families can only purchase a single family home, townhome, or condominium anywhere in the City of Chicago.

Since 2002, CTO participants have purchased 575 homes in the City of Chicago.

The CTO program combines knowledgeable staff, strong community partnerships, and industry professionals to give you a comprehensive support network that guides you through your path of homeownership.

  • Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
  • Spanish Coalition for Housing
  • LUCHA Law Project

To Qualify for CTO, you must:

  • Income: Meet income and employment requirements (does not apply to head of households who are senior and disabled)
  • Credit: Be credit worthy with scores of 640 or more and good credit history
  • Savings/Down Payment: Have $3,000 in savings with capability of continuing to save ($2,000 for HOH senior and disabled families)
  • Maintenance Reserve: Have $1,000 in personal savings prior to closing that will serve as a financial safety net for unexpected home repairs.
  • Compliant with your CHA development or your HCV Landlord                   

If you are interested in learning more about the CTO program or want to see if you qualify, attendance to a CTO Information Session Workshop is required.

3rd & 4th Quarter Sessions:

CHA Central Office, 60 E. Van Buren St – Client Center
Thursday            Aug 2nd                9-10 AM
Wednesday        Aug 15th              9-10 AM
Thursday            Aug 30th              4-5 PM
Thursday            Sept 6th               4-5 PM
Wednesday        Sept 19th            9-10 AM
Thursday            Sept 27th             9-10 AM
Wednesday       Oct 3rd                 4-5 PM
Thursday            Oct 18th               9-10 AM
Tuesday              Oct 23rd               4-5 PM
Thursday            Nov 8th                3:30-4:30 PM
Wednesday       Nov 14th              9-10 AM
Tuesday              Dec 4th                9-10 AM
Thursday            Dec 13th              3:30-4:30 PM

CHA Section 3 Office, 3641 S. State St.
Wednesday       Aug 22nd             4-5 PM – CANCELLED
Wednesday       Sept 12th             9-10 AM – CANCELLED

Charles Hayes Family Investment Center, 4859 S. Wabash Ave.
Wednesday       Aug 8th                4-5 PM
Wednesday       Oct 10th               4-5 PM
Wednesday       Nov 28th              9-10 AM

Spanish Coalition for Housing, 1922 N. Pulaski Rd.
Wednesday       Jul 11th                4-5 PM

LUCHA, 3541 W. North Ave.
Thursday            Jul 26th                4-5 PM

SWOP, 2558 W. 63rd St.
Wednesday       Jul 18th                4-5 PM

Altgeld Gardens – CYC Community Room, 951 E. 132nd St.
Thursday            Nov 1st                4-5 PM