Rental Housing Support Program

LANDLORDS — Contact Mari Valero, Program Director at 312 386-1009 x 229 to find out how you can add your unit to the program!!!

A combination of low wages and limited availability of affordable rental housing units requires many families and households throughout the State of Illinois to pay a disproportionate share of their income for basic housing. There are also households in the state that face additional difficulty in finding affordable housing due to disabilities or special needs of family members.

In order to address this pressing need, the Rental Housing Support Program (RHSP) was enacted in 2005 in Illinois. The Rental Housing Support Program promotes permanent housing through the funding of rent subsidies for our ‘rent burdened’ extremely and severely low-income households. Fewer than half the states in the country have a rental assistance program and in addition to Illinois, only two other states, Massachusetts and Connecticut, provide long-term rental support.

HCP has been administering this program since 2011, providing housing to almost 70 Cook County low income families. RHSP enables clients to pay only 30% of their income for rent, while giving the landlord the difference in the form of a subsidy. The difference between this subsidy and the traditional Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher is that this subsidy is based on the unit—it is project based, not tenant based. That means that when one client vacates the unit, another low income client moving into the unit would receive the same benefits.

HCP identifies eligible units for the program and conducts periodic outreach to low income residents so that a wait list is available to fill vacancies as they come along.

Rental Support Map

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The wait list is currently closed but HCP is always seeking units so landlords may call Mari Valero, Program Director at 312 386-1009 x 229, for further information.

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The Rental Housing Support Program – Frequently Asked Questions

Property owners in Suburban Cook County can avoid vacancies, and receive 3 MONTHS RENT IN ADVANCE 4 TIMES A YEAR!!!

How does it work? The State of Illinois provides funding to HCP for monthly rent subsidies for units that house low income families and individuals.  Tenants pay a portion of the rent directly to the landlord and HCP pays the remainder of the rent, again directly to the landlord.

So the unit is subsidized, not the tenant? That’s right.  If a tenant moves, the landlord can rent the unit again to another tenant who is income-eligible so vacancies are a thing of the past!

How are rents determined? Rents for units in the program should be comparable to market rents for the area in which the unit is located.

Rent payments are made in advance? Yes, rent payments are made quarterly in advance for all units in the program so no waiting until the 1st of every month!

Where do the tenants from? A waiting list will be maintained by HCP to fill any vacancies.  HCP will also provide training in tenant rights and responsibilities and housekeeping for all participants.  Landlords will screen tenants just as in any other rental situation.

Can I get a current tenant on the program? There will be a very few slots for tenants that are income-eligible and living in a unit currently but are having trouble paying their rent.

How big is the program? The State of Illinois hopes to subsidize 4000 units throughout the state but the Suburban Cook County program will subsidize a small fraction of the total.

What do I do to learn more? Go to IHDA.ORG (the Illinois Housing Development Authority web-site) and click on Multi-family Programs on the right side of the screen.  Then click on Rental Housing Support Program to learn more.

You may also call Marielena Valero @ 312-386-1009 ext. 229 for more information.