How does CHA Mobility Program Benefit Chicago landlords?

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In order to provide an incentive for property owners to utilize the CHA voucher program in “Mobility Areas,” the Chicago Housing Authority has implemented a series of benefits or incentives for property owners who are looking to participate in the Program.

The primary objective of this program is to make it easier for voucher holders to move into neighborhoods with low levels of poverty and less violent crime, and where rental markets are often competitive. This provides an incentive for property owners to rent to HCV participants in tight rental markets.

Property providers, landlords, owners or large-scale property managers are all eligible to sign up. 

Landlord Incentive Payments

New HCV property owners receive an additional one-time lump sum payment equal to the monthly contract rent if they lease a unit to a voucher holder in designated Mobility Areas.

Each property owner can only receive 1 incentive payment, no matter the number of units available for rent. 

Tax Savings Program 

CHA’s Tax Savings Program provides the opportunity for qualified property owners to lower their annual property taxes. 

In order to be eligible to qualify for the Tax Savings Program in Chicago, property owners must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Property must be located in a census tract with poverty rate below 12%

  2. Property must lease at least one unit to a HCV program participating family, as of January 1 of the year for which the property owner is applying for the tax savings

  3. Eligible unit(s) must comply with the Federal Housing Quality Standards as of January 1 of the year for which the property owner is applying

  4. Building must comply with all local building codes

  5. No more than two units or 20% of the total units at the property, whichever is greater, may be considered qualified units

Vacancy Payments 

CHA encourages property owners to quickly release HQS compliant units to other HCV participants, offering vacancy payments (up to two months of the previous tenant's HAP) for those that qualify.

An understanding of landlord/tenant law is critical for anyone involved in property management. Property owners must conform to an array of federal, state and local laws that govern everything from collection of the security deposit to the eviction process.

Improving your rental property operations will most likely result in a greater number of residents who observe your policies, abide by the terms of their lease, pay their rent on time, and renew their lease year after year. 

Here are a few tips that will help you improve your management processes:

  • Establish a rental policy

  • Develop a formal screening process in accordance with Fair Housing laws

  • Educate prospective tenants about your property and policies

  • Maintain detailed records of all transactions

  • Follow a regular inspection and maintenance schedule

  • Know the rules and regulations of the HCV Program

  • Keep abreast of program Rules and Regulations by attending CHA and non-CHA sponsored events

  • Familiarize yourself with the participant’s Family Obligations to both you and CHA

At the end of the day, it is the HCV participant family’s decision whether or not to rent your property. Of course, as a property owner, you need to screen the HCV family using the same diligence as you would any other prospective tenant.

One of the largest aspects of maintaining any property is the supervision of routine preventative maintenance and turnover costs. Due to the fact that property maintenance tends to be the bulk of annual budgets, it is ever so important to control costs by completing these jobs in a timely manner and at the best value while not sacrificing quality.

Each employee of GCR&D are Chicago property managers and landlords themselves, and understand how to manage properties from the owner’s perspective. The goal of GCR&D is quite simple: Making properties as attractive as possible, keeping costs to a minimum, and the ability to attract excellent tenants who pay the highest rent available that the market can bear.

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