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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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:

  • Up to 110% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the applicable bedroom size in the community area in which the property is located (or 150% FMR in Mobility Areas); 
  • Average market comparables in the immediate area; or
  • The owner requested amount.

The following outreach steps must be taken fill a vacant PRA unit:

  1. Submit a Vacancy Report Form to CHA within ten (10) days of the unit becoming vacant. After receiving the Vacancy Report Form, CHA will send your property manager names from the CHA wait list.
  2. The Property Manager will complete a minimum of three (3) outreach attempts, via email, phone (all numbers listed), and mail for each applicant.   The Property Manager will send the corresponding outcome letters to CHA once completed, detailing the outcome of the attempts.
  3. The Property Manager will screen each Applicant based on the building’s Tenant Selection Plan and notify CHA of the Applicant(s) that meets the building’s screening criteria.   CHA will schedule an Intake Interview with the Applicant to determine if they meet the rental subsidy assistance requirements.   If deemed eligible, a PRA Tenancy Addendum will be forwarded to the Property Manager.  Once the required Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection is passed, the Property Manager will sign a Lease Agreement with the Applicant. 

CHA requires that all units meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS).   Annually, CHA will inspect a minimum of 20% of the units that participate under the PRA Housing Assistance Payments contract.   If 20% or more of the inspected units fail inspection, CHA may inspect all (100%) of the PRA units in the building.  Through CHA’s Owner’s Portal, property managers are able to see the inspection report and make repairs prior to reinspection. 

Owners receive monthly PRA HAP payments via direct deposit.   An electronic invoice is then forwarded each month detailing the payment breakdown.   CHA offers an “Owner’s Portal” that provides detailed information about the payments.  

Property Owners are able to submit a request for a rent increase annually.   The PRA Rent Increase Form must be received by CHA at least 60 days prior to the HAP contract anniversary date.   Approval of a rent increase is based upon determining the lowest of:

  • Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the applicable bedroom size in the community area,
  • Average market comparables in the immediate area, or
  • The Property owner’s requested amount.

If approved, the rent increase will be effective on the HAP anniversary date for all units under the PRA HAP contract.  

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.