Leasing with HCV

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Leasing with HCV

Ultimately, it is the HCV participant family’s decision whether or not to rent your property. Of course, as the property owner, you would screen the HCV family just as you would any other prospective tenant.  The following steps summarize the process to become an HCV property owner:

  1. Attend Owner Briefing (Recommended)
  2. Market your property
  3. Complete and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA)
  4. Pass Housing Quality Standards CHA owner eligibility screening (HQS) Inspection
  5. Accept CHA rent offer
  6. Execute lease and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract
  7. Comply with HUD and CHA’s rules and regulations

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.

For more information see the Property Owner Guidebook.

Lease Effective Dates

Effective October 2019: the Chicago Housing Authority will now allow the lease effective date to be on any day of the month, except the 1st.

Payment Standards

Payment standards represent the maximum amount of subsidy that CHA can provide a family. CHA does not automatically approve this rent level for a given unit. CHA's monthly rent subsidy depends on a number of factors, including payment standards, the rents of other comparable unsubsidized rental units in the area, and the income of the family.  

Please see CHA's Rent Determination Process and procedures on approving rent increases.

Determining Reasonable Rent

When determining the rent offer made to an owner, HUD regulations require the amount is supported by the market. CHA establishes the rental value of the unit by examining comparable units in the area, ensuring the appropriate amount is provided to the property owner. Please see How CHA Uses Comparable Units to Determine Rent.

Vacancy Payments

To encourage property owners to quickly re-lease HQS compliant units to HCV participants, the Chicago Housing Authority offers vacancy payments for those that qualify. Please see flyer for additional information. To request a vacancy payment for your HCV unit, please visit www.chahcvportal.org. You can download the request form under the RESOURCES menu and submit the completed form in the Document Center under the MY ACCOUNT menu.

Landlord Incentive Payments

In order to provide an incentive for property owners to rent units to CHA voucher holders in “Mobility Areas,” the Chicago Housing Authority is implementing a program that provides new HCV property owners an additional lump sum payment equal to the monthly contract rent if they lease a unit to a voucher holder in these designated areas. Please see our Promotional Flyer and Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Mobility AREA

Exception payment standards are part of CHA’s strategy to expand housing choices for HCV participants in Mobility Areas throughout Chicago. Effective March 1, 2018, a Mobility Area is defined as a Chicago community area with 20% or fewer of its families with income below the poverty level and a below median reported violent crime count (normalized by the community area’s total population). Some community areas with improving poverty and violent crime rates along with significant job clusters are also designated as Mobility Areas. CHA uses this definition of Mobility Areas for implementing its Mobility Counseling Program, for approving exception payment standards, and for providing landlord incentive payments.

CHA Mobility Area Map and Frequently Asked Questions


Under state law, Illinois property owners who rent to participants in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program may receive property tax abatement (“tax savings”) in an amount up to 19% of a property’s Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). The actual amount will depend upon tax rates, the state equalizer, EAV and the number of qualified units rented to HCV Program participants.

In order to qualify for this tax savings program, your property must meet the following criteria:

1. The property must be located in a census tract with a poverty rate below 12%.

  • To determine if your property is located in an eligible census tract, please visit https://geomap.ffiec.gov/FFIECGeocMap/GeocodeMap1.aspx.
  • At the top of the page, select the most current calendar year from the drop down menu.
  • Enter the property address (do not enter the unit number), including city, state and ZIP code and click ‘Search’.
  • In the left menu bar, click the ‘Census Demographic Data’ button to open a pop-up window.
  • In the pop-up window, click the ‘Income’ tab.
  • Review the value in the 4th row ‘% below Poverty Line’. If this value is less than 12, the property is located in an eligible census tract.

2. At least one unit at the property must be leased to a tenant participating in CHA’s HCV Program as of January 1st of the year for which the property owner is applying for the tax savings.

3. No more than two units or 20% of the total units at the property, whichever is greater, may be considered qualified units.

4. The eligible unit(s) must be in compliance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS) as of January 1st of the year for which the property owner is applying for tax savings.

5. The building must be in compliance with local building codes.

A separate application is required for each Property Index Number (PIN), and applications must be submitted on an annual basis. If you don’t know your PIN, visit www.cookcountyassessor.com or check your tax bill.

Applications for the 2021 tax year are due by December 15, 2021. If approved, the tax abatement will be realized on the second installment of the subsequent tax year.

Applications are not accepted by email or fax. Please mail the original (keep a copy for your records), notarized application to:

Chicago Housing Authority
Attn: HCV Tax Savings Program
60 E. Van Buren Street, 11th Floor
Chicago, IL.  60605-1207

HCV Tax Savings Application