HCP works with families that have a rent subsidy through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, providing education and support to encourage families to move to an “opportunity” area. Families are given information on tenant rights and responsibilities, housing options throughout the region, and support services available once a move is made. Opportunity areas generally have better educational and employment choices so that families can use their subsidy not just to pay the rent but to improve their lives.
HCP’s current program priority is a HUD-funded regional demonstration, a first of its kind. The Chicago Regional Housing Choice Initiative is a partnership among eight public housing authorities, HUD, Metropolitan Planning Council and HCP to expand housing choice in the Chicago region. The 2-3 year project will look at tenant and project based vouchers, as well as portability to identify methods to improve public housing residents opportunities, while also reducing costs to the public housing authorities.
The Rental Housing Support Program involves administering a subsidy program to landlords enabling tenants to pay rents based on their income, while giving landlords the difference from market rates through a subsidy.
HCP provides mobility development assistance to housing authorities and other housing providers to help in the establishment of programs designed to provide better housing opportunities to low income families. HCP has assisted housing authorities in Rockford, Nevada, Washington State, Philadelphia and Texas with their mobility programs.
HCP educates landlords and Realtors about the Housing Choice Voucher Program and fair housing laws.
Listings. HCP actively searches for rental units in opportunity areas for clients.
Holding fee. An incentive fund was created to encourage landlords to try the voucher program.
Speaking. Staff speak to groups of housing providers about the voucher program and fair housing issues.
HCP works with other organizations to improve affordable housing programs and their availability throughout the Chicago metropolitan region. As a member of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, HCP worked to pass a tax abatement bill in the State of Illinois for landlords who rent to voucher holders in opportunity areas. HCP also is a member of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition and monitors affordable housing issues on a state and federal level, providing comment when appropriate.