Leasing with HCV

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Leasing with HCV

If you wish to rent to an HCV family, and enjoy a number of benefits including lower vacancy rates, tenant stability, free property inspections and eligibility for a reduction in property taxes you should inform CHA of the availability of your property. Ultimately, it is the HCV family’s decision whether or not to rent your property. Of course, as the landlord, you would screen the HCV family just as you would any other prospective tenant.  The following steps summarize the process to become an HCV landlord:

  1. Attend Owner Briefing (Recommended)
  2. Market your property once HCV participant is selected
  3. Complete and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA)
  4. Pass Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection
  5. Complete suitability screening
  6. Execute lease and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract
  7. Comply HUD and CHA’s rules and regulations (enforce lease)

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.


Effective July 1, 2018: In an effort to limit the instances in which two different property owners have legitimate claims to a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) for the same HCV Program tenant. The Chicago Housing Authority will only accept leases where the lease effective date is either the 2nd or the 16th of the month.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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 2019 Payment Standards. As part of CHA's commitment to provide voucher holders access to more Chicago neighborhoods, CHA implemented an Exception Payment Standard policy. 

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 CHA's methodology in determining reasonable rent.

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 owners an additional lump sum payment equal to the monthly contract rent for every new unit leased 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, 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 2019 tax year are due by December 15, 2019. 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