FAQs

Language Assistance FAQ

For persons who, as a result of national origin, do not speak English as their primary language and who have limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand. For purposes of Title VI and the LEP guidance, persons may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular CHA service or encounter.

Language assistance that CHA may provide to LEP persons includes, but is not limited to:

  • Oral interpretation services
  • Bilingual staff
  • Telephonic interpretation line
  • Written translation services

A plan that identifies the needs of the LEP population that CHA serves. Some elements of CHA’s plan include but are not limited to:

  • Identifying LEP person who need language assistance
  • Identifying the points of contact CHA and staff may have with LEP persons
  • Training staff
  • Determining which documents and informational materials are vital

A policy approved by CHA’s Board of Commissioners on April 212015, which outlines CHA’s responsibilities to appropriately serve LEP persons and maintain compliance with HUD regulations.

CHA staff designated to oversee the creation and implementation of department-specific internal language procedures. When applicable, the Language Access Liaisons are also responsible for collecting language data for their department and monitoring compliance. For general inquiries e-mail CHA’s Language Assistance inbox at chala@thecha.org

By reporting it to CHA’s Housing Rights and Nondiscrimination department. For contact information visit CHA’s website at www.thecha.org or HUD local Office; of FHEO. For contact information call the housing discrimination toll free hotline at 800-669-9777.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that all units subsidized under the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program meet a minimum standard of health and safety rules called Housing Quality Standards (HQS). To ensure compliance, CHA or its contractors must inspect units that HCV participants wish to rent before move-in.

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CHA is currently not accepting new applicants for the Family Public Housing Waitlist, or the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Waitlist. However, units are available for leaseholders who were living in CHA developments prior to the Plan for Transformation. For seniors, the Senior Waitlist is always open.

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FOIA Policy: Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), CHA provides access to public records for those who request them.

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The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent body within the Chicago Housing Authority. Report fraud using the online form.

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If you are interested in one of the many CHA job opportunities available, please apply here. Every effort is made to contact applicants selected for an interview within 30 - 45 days of the job notice date. However, if we have not contacted you for an interview within this time frame, your resume will be retained on file for six months.

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CHA seeks to do business with capable and responsible firms while following an open and transparent competitive process to secure products and services.

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Student Internship Program FAQs

 First preference is given to CHA public housing residents and CHA housing choice voucher program participants.

Yes.  Currently enrolled students in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-year or four-year institution) are eligible; applicants must have a grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduates and 2.5 for graduate students.

Yes, the CHA Internships are paid experiences at the rate of $15.00 per hour.

Yes. The Summer Internship Program is full-time for 8 working hours per day/40 hour per week.   Applicants should expect to work Monday-Friday; 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM – an hour is allocated for lunch.

Interns may be assigned to any CHA departments requesting interns, or to CHA vendor organizations. The Internship program is focused on providing a broad exposure to various aspects of the housing authority.

WAITLIST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CHA’s waitlist lottery is used to identify applicants for CHA assisted housing as it becomes available.

In 2014, CHA opened its waitlist lottery registration process for three of its housing programs—Family Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (formerly Section 8), and the Property Rental Assistance Program. For four weeks, between October 27th and November 24th, individuals had the opportunity to register for all three programs at one time.

In 2015, a random lottery was conducted by a third-party vendor to select and place names on all three waitlists. 

Family Public Housing – provides housing assistance to low income individuals and families living in traditional family developments as well as scattered site and mixed-income properties.

Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) formerly Section 8 – provides housing assistance to low income individuals and families using a voucher in the private rental market (voucher is provided to applicant).

Property Rental Assistance (PRA) – provides housing assistance to low income individuals and families using a property based voucher in family and supportive housing properties (voucher is provided to landlord for specific unit).

Family Public Housing - 30,000 total applicants

Housing Choice Voucher - 50,000 total applicants

Property Rental Assistance - 16,000 total applicants

TOAL: 96,000 total applicants

Everyone that registered for the lottery and provided a valid mailing address will be notified of their waitlist status.

If you have not received a letter confirming your waitlist status, please call: 1-844-242-4532 (1-844-CHA-4532).

You may also visit CHA’s main office at 60 E. Van Buren, Chicago IL 60605 to determine if you have been selected for any of the waitlists. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Property Rental Assistance FAQs

CHA determines the contract rent by accepting the lowest of the following amounts:

  • 110% of the current published Fair Market Rent (FMR) (or 150% in Opportunity Areas) for the applicable bedroom size
  • Average market comparables
  • owner requested amount

The following steps must be taken to outreach for a vacant unit:

1) you must submit a vacancy claim form to CHA within ten (10) days of the unit becoming vacant. After receiving the vacancy claim form, CHA will then send your property ten (10) applicant names per your number of vacant units; i.e. if you have two (2) vacant units, you will receive a total of 20 names of outreach.

2) you will be required to complete a minimum of three (3) outreach attempts, via phone ( all numbers listed), mail, and email ( if applicable) for each applicant and send the corresponding outcome letters back to CHA detailing the outcome(s) of your outreach attempts.

3) When an applicant that meets your TSP criteria responds, you may contact the CHA accordingly and an intake interview will be schedules with the applicant. If CHA deems the applicant eligible, a PRA Tenancy Addendum will be created and forwarded to you, and the required HQS inspection will be schedules. Once the inspection is passed, you may sign your lease with the applicant and they may move into the unit. 

4) If outreach attempts have been unsuccessful and the unit(s) are still vacant for either 30 days for designated supportive housing and senior housing properties, or 60 days for family sites, you may submit referrals from your sit-based waiting list to CHA for screening.  

CHA requrires that all inspections follor HUD housing Quality Standards (HQS) guidelines (detailed information can be found in the CHA HQS inspection Guidebook), which are the minimum physical condition requirements all PRA housing units must meet before assistance can be provided. The Owner is responsible for inspection 100% of the PRA units and ensuring they maintain HQS compliance. CHA will inspect a minimum of 20% of each prpperty's units on a n annual basis for quality control monitoring. If more than 20% of the inspected units fail inspection, CHA may inspect all (100%) of the PRA units in the building. 

Owners receive monthly PRA HAP payments via direct deposit. An electronic invoice is then forwarded each month detailing the payment breakdown. If Owners use YARDI, they may view access their subsidy statements at any time of each tanant's YARDI record.

The Owner's request for a rent increase must be submitted in writing (the request form can be found HERE) to the CHA 60 days prior to the HAP anniversary date, and must include the new rent amount the owner is proposing. When reviewing a request, approval is based upon determining the lowest of the following:

  • 300% of the current published Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the applicable bedroom size
  • Average market comparables
  • Owner requested amount

Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 FAQs

At this time, the HCV wait list is closed to new applicants. The waitlist opened and closed in 2008. CHA will provide public notice to announce the application period for the opening of any CHA waitlist.

The eligibility appointment is usually scheduled 60 days from the time the family was selected from the waiting list.

Port-ins: For families that are porting in, after receiving the completed file from the initial Housing Authority; the file will be reviewed within 10-14 business days.

Port-outs: Files are sent out within 2 weeks of being prepared for the Portability transfer.

A family is required to report income and/or household changes in person at their Regional Office.  The timeframe to process changes in household income, composition, etc. is generally up to 30 days after all of the required documentation is received.

he eligibility requirements for receiving moving papers are:  1. You must not be in a current lease/or it must expire within 60 days of your request.  2. The Head of Household and all adults members must pass a current Criminal Background Check.  3. You must be in good standing with Program obligations.  If you meet the criteria, contact our Customer Service Call Center at (312) 935-2600.  To bypass holding to speak to a Specialist email us at hcv@thecha.org.  A representative from our office will contact you within one business day to address your inquiry or forward it to the Servicing Team for resolution.

HCV FAQ

At this time, the HCV wait list is closed to new applicants. The waitlist opened and closed in 2008. CHA will provide public notice to announce the application period for the opening of any CHA waitlist.

The eligibility appointment is usually scheduled 60 days from the time the family was selected from the waiting list.

Port-ins: For families that are porting in, after receiving the completed file from the initial Housing Authority; the file will be reviewed within 10-14 business days.

Port-outs: Files are sent out within 2 weeks of being prepared for the Portability transfer.

A family is required to report income and/or household changes in person at their Regional Office.  The timeframe to process changes in household income, composition, etc. is generally up to 30 days after all of the required documentation is received.

The eligibility requirements for receiving moving papers are:  1. You must not be in a current lease/or it must expire within 60 days of your request.  2. The Head of Household and all adults members must pass a current Criminal Background Check.  3. You must be in good standing with Program obligations.  If you meet the criteria, contact our Customer Service Call Center at (312) 935-2600.  To bypass holding to speak to a Specialist email us at hcv@thecha.org.  A representative from our office will contact you within one business day to address your inquiry or forward it to the Servicing Team for resolution.