Chicago Housing Authority’s first virtual Owner Symposium event is a success

Oct 29, 2020

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646; (312) 523-7067;

CHICAGO (Oct. 29, 2020): More than 1,000 property owners, managers, brokers, investors and other real estate professionals took part in a week of learning, networking and sharing best practices at the Chicago Housing Authority’s first-ever virtual Owner Symposium last week, dubbed “Symposium Week ‘20.”

The Owner Symposium, which celebrated its 11th year providing real estate professionals with education and resources to improve their businesses and support affordable housing opportunities throughout Chicago, has historically been an in-person, all-day event.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot kicked things off with a video message, welcoming attendees to the event and thanking housing providers for the life-saving services they provide to thousands of Chicago families.

In the opening session, CHA Chief Executive Officer Tracey Scott also thanked property owners across Chicago.

“Thank you for continuing to offer quality housing while balancing financial challenges from COVID-19 and other issues facing our communities,” CEO Scott said. “Your partnership is critical to CHA.”

CHA’s Chief HCV Officer Cheryl Burns highlighted some of the work the HCV team has done to assist families and property owners.

“This year’s event was all about turning limitations into innovations,” Burns said. “Our partnership with property owners is critical to creating healthy, vibrant communities and an improved quality of life for all of our families. By continuing to bring together and educate real estate professionals on trends in the rental housing market and other vital issues, we are able to support the stability of many small businesses which translates to the long-term success of our Housing Choice Voucher families.”

Access Living President and CEO Karen Tamley kicked off the educational sessions with a keynote address on the need and rising demand for accessible housing in Chicago.

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 over 50,000 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 an opportunity for real estate professionals, regardless of their affiliation with CHA, to learn about and share best practices is an important goal of the Owner Symposium. The annual event is designed to provide not only professional information and services but also peer-to-peer support to property owners so that they are equipped with the resources they need to maintain high quality rental units. 

The week-long event featured a broad range of session topics, including investment property strategies, landlord-tenant relationships, digital business tools, marketing, pest control, lease building, income taxes, the essentials of Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, property taxes, evictions, and more. As with every Owner Symposium, CHA’s goal is for all attendees to embrace the knowledge they’ve gained and to incorporate the information and tips into their standard business operations. The jam-packed agenda also included “Ask Us Anything” sessions, where attendees could learn about CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, and sponsor demos from premium sponsors Community Investment Corporation and Manage Chicago Inc., as well as Coffee Sponsor Angel Apartments and Condos, Inc.

Recordings of Symposium Week sessions are available online until the end of October. The 2021 Owner Symposium is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.