Chicago Housing Authority’s Annual Owner Symposium a Big Success

Oct 9, 2018
OW Symp 1

More than 1,500 attendees spent a day learning and sharing best practices at the Chicago Housing Authority’s 9th Annual Owner Symposium which is dedicated to offering property owners, managers, investors and others a day of networking as they work to support a strong affordable rental housing market in Chicago.

“This year’s event was our biggest yet and demonstrated the interest and commitment real estate professionals have in investing in Chicago’s rental housing stock and helping to preserve and improve affordable housing across the city,” said CHA CEO Eugene E. Jones, Jr. “I want to thank everyone who attended this important event: sponsors, vendors and workshop and session presenters as well as property owners, managers and investors. Their participation was vital to its success. More than ever before, it also showed that property owners, managers and investors understand the role they play in helping communities succeed. Like all of us at CHA, they also know that we are all in this together – building stronger families, stronger communities and a stronger city – no matter who is paying rent on the unit.”

The CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program has expanded in recent years, providing greater access to affordable rental housing in every neighborhood in Chicago. Today there are voucher holders living in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas and CHA continues to expand housing opportunities for renters by seeking out new communities for investment.

“Providing greater housing choice and opportunity is a cornerstone of CHA’s mission. Through strong partnerships like those built with CHA’s HCV property owners, there has been demonstrated success,” Jones added. “These collective efforts have helped create healthy, vibrant communities and an improved quality of life for all of our families.”

The Owner Symposium has shifted its focus over the last few years to emphasize the importance of informing and educating all real estate professionals on trends in the rental housing market and other vital issues and has expanded its scope to benefit a broad range of real estate professionals, not just those who provide housing to HCV renters.

The event’s keynote speaker Stacie Young, Director of The Preservation Compact, a collaborative effort to stem the loss of affordable rental housing in Cook County, said: “It is inspiring to see so many people who care about maintaining high quality, affordable buildings and neighborhoods. The CHA’s partnership is vital for many successful preservation strategies, from improving deteriorating conditions in low-cost markets, to creating affordability in high-cost markets.”  

For nearly a decade, the CHA Owner Symposium has been the premier event in Chicago offering property management education as well as networking and relationship building opportunities with other housing industry partners. Each year, something new is added to the agenda that enhances the experience, making it better than the year before.

This year’s event featured many new session topics, including investment property strategies, perceptions of affordable housing, lock and key management, income taxes and security. There were also experts on hand to cover the essentials of Chicago’s Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, property taxes, lease building, fair housing, evictions, marketing, and more.

Meaningful engagement among attendees was also possible thanks to lunch time table-top discussions that allowed event participants to share their insights with one another and CHA staff with the goal of finding ways to mutually improve Chicago communities.