The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in Chicago. The Section 8 program provides rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford housing in the private market. To apply for a Section 8 voucher, you must first join the CHA's waiting list. Here are the steps to join the Section 8 waiting list in Chicago:
Meet the eligibility requirements. To qualify for Section 8 in Chicago, you must meet income limits based on your family size. You must also be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant. Check the CHA website for the latest income limits and eligibility criteria.
Apply during an open waiting list period. The CHA opens the Section 8 waiting list periodically based on the availability of vouchers. Apply as soon as the waiting list opens to have the best chance of getting on the list. The CHA will announce waiting list openings on their website, through local media, and community organizations.
Apply online or in person. When the waiting list is open, you can apply on the CHA website or in person at CHA offices. Applying online is typically faster and more convenient. You will need information like income statements, birth certificates, social security cards, etc. for all household members.
Check your waiting list status. After applying, check your status on the CHA website or call the CHA hotline. Your application will show as "received" while it is being processed. Once processed, it will show as either "active" on the waiting list or "denied" if there are any issues with your application.
Respond to updates and remain eligible. If placed on the active waiting list, respond to any requests from the CHA for updated information. You must also continue to meet income limits and eligibility criteria to remain on the waiting list. Failure to respond or remaining eligible can result in removal from the waiting list.
The CHA waiting list can remain open for a short time or several years depending on voucher availability and funding. Be patient through what can be a long process. Contact us if you have any other questions!
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