Leasing with HCV

Office Workers

Leasing with HCV

Thank you for your interest in the HCV Program. The following steps summarize the process for becoming a successful HCV property owner. However, please note that it is the family’s responsibility to find and determine whether they wish to rent your property.

  1. Watch the 35-minute Property Owner Briefing to learn about the HCV Program.
  2. Market your property, and when you are contacted by an HCV family, screen them just as you would any other prospective tenant.
  3. Complete and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) packet (provided to you by the HCV family).
  4. Pass CHA’s owner eligibility screening.
  5. Have the unit inspected by CHA to ensure it meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
  6. Accept CHA’s rent offer
  7. Execute the lease with the HCV family and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with CHA.
  8. Manage your property in compliance with HUD and CHA’s rules and regulations.

For a high-level overview of the program, see the HCV At a Glance Flyer (HCV en resumen).

For more information, see the Property Owner Guidebook.

HCV Owner Services Department

CHA operates a dedicated Owner Services Department to help current and prospective HCV property owners and managers navigate various aspects of the Program, including:

  • Program policies and procedures
  • Owner Account changes (i.e., direct deposit, contact information, management, etc.)
  • Completing, signing and submitting forms (i.e., RTA packet, HAP Contract, Change of Ownership/Management, etc.)
  • Program-related issues
  • And more

Contact Owner Services via email at ownerinfo@thecha.org or click here to schedule an in-person appointment at the Central Office (60 E. Van Buren, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60605).

Owner News — A Newsletter for HCV Property Owners and Managers

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023

Looking for other past editions of Owner News? Log in to your HCV Owner Portal account and click on RESOURCES.

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 and Determining Reasonable Rent

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, allowances for tenant-assigned utilities and the income of the family.  

When determining the rent offer made to an owner, HUD regulations require that the amount is supported by the local market. CHA establishes the rental value of the unit by examining comparable unsubsidized units in the area.

For a full tutorial on CHA’s rent determination process, including how to calculate family affordability, we encourage everyone to watch our on-demand webinar: How CHA Determines Contract 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 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 Areas

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

HCV Tax Savings Program

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 2024 tax year are due by December 15, 2024. 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