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.
Please see Press Release HERE.  


Choose To Own Homeownership Program (CTO)

The Chicago Housing Authority's Choose to Own Program (CTO) 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 in Chicago.

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 for up to 15 years (up to 30 years for the elderly or people with disabilities). Other CTO families are able to take on the full portion of their mortgage, and don't require financial assistance from the CHA. These families are able to transition directly into homeownership and out of standardized housing.

In 2016, CTO reached its 500th closing!  

The CTO program combines knowledgeable staff and strong community partnerships to give you a comprehensive support network that guides you along your path to homeownership. For more information on the CTO program, contact CTO staff at (312) 786-3404 or by email at CTOprogram@thecha.org

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. sessions are held by CHA’s partner agencies. Interested families refer to the Orientation Calendar for upcoming sessions.

The CTO Homeownership Program provides the following services to support you through the home-buying process:

  • Pre- and post-purchase counseling to help you navigate the home-buying process
  • Referrals to lenders
  • Pro bono (free or reduced fee) lawyers to help with the closing and post-purchase legal issues
  • Estate planning features

To Qualify for CTO, you must:

  • Have a gross annual income equal to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) or greater based on family size*
  • Have a good credit history, and
  • Maintain a personal savings that can be used toward a down payment

*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

CTO Brochure

CTO Annual Income Requirements