Housing and Tenant Resources
AFFORDABLE HOUSING RESOURCES
Affordable housing resources can be complex to navigate, with no single portal containing all the information. Our office is working closely with the Department on Housing and the Committee on Housing and Real Estate to brainstorm ways to create a user-friendly portal that would consolidate the information and make it easier for users to navigate.
In the meantime, our office has compiled a variety of resources to help tenants find affordable housing in the 49th Ward and across the city.
Affordable Rental Housing Resource List
The Department of Housing maintains a list of affordable housing complexes across the city. This list contains affordable rental housing opportunities that have been supported and developed through the City of Chicago.
Chicago Housing Authority
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is designated by the U.S. Federal Government's Housing and Urban Development to connect low-income families across Chicago to public housing opportunities. The CHA is the largest rental landlord in Chicago, overseeing more than 50,000 rental units across the city.
The CHA offers rental opportunities through Housing Choice Vouchers and Project Based Vouchers. Waitlists are open and tenants can apply at any time. For eligibility requirements and to place your name on a waitlist, visit applyonline.thecha.org.
The Preservation Compact
The Preservation Compact is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving affordable rental stock. They collaborate with a diverse range of partners to preserve and create more affordable housing across the city. The Preservation Compact maintains a map for Assist Housing on its website to help folks connect to affordable housing opportunities.
Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund
The Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund is a program for which landlords apply. With the Rental Subsidy Program, properties apply to the Trust Fund for a given number of rental subsidies in order to reduce the rent cost on a specified number of units.
AffordableHousing.com helps connect families and renters to affordable housing options across the country, including units that are known to accept Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8 vouchers). Please note that a landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant based on their housing choice voucher status.
Northside Community Resources
Northside Community Resources is a Community-Based Organization in the Rogers Park neighborhood that connect residents to a variety of resources, including affordable housing opportunities. They have a dedicated Housing Director who works closely with tenants to identify and apply for housing opportunities.
Chicago Coordinated Entry System
The Chicago Coordinated Entry System (CES) connects people experiencing homelessness to housing programs. They strive to facilitate an accessible and racially equitable path to housing that eliminates barriers to housing. The CES uses a standardized housing assessment to understand the needs of households and follows a prioritization plan to refer youth, individuals, and families to housing.
Anyone sleeping in a shelter, outside, in a vehicle, or any place not meant for human habitation can call the Coordinated Entry Call Center at 312-361-1707 to complete a housing assessment. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm. Please note, this may or may not lead to a housing option and does not solve immediate housing crises.
All Chicago is the City's delegate agency to run the rapid rehousing program for individuals facing or experiencing homelessness. They also have emergency financial assistance to provide people with assistance who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness.
The Department of Housing has compiled information on its websites to help tenants understand their rights. These include resources and information on rental rights and responsibilities, resources for conflict resolution, and more.
Tenants may also call the Chicago Renters' Rights Hotline at 312-742-RENT (7368).
Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance
In Chicago, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) stipulates legal requirements for both tenants and landlords. The ordinance is to improve the quality of housing across the city and outlines avenues for remedies if violated.
Rights and obligations covered by the ordinance include:
Tenant's general responsibilities
Landlord's right of access
Security deposits and prepaid rent
Landlord's general duties
Identification of owner and agent
Notice of conditions affecting habitability
Landlord and tenant remedies
Prohibition of retaliatory conduct by landlord
Summary of ordinance attached to rental agreement
Landlords are required to maintain buildings and units in a clean and habitable condition. Building violations can reported to the City, including complaints related to broken windows/screens, unpermitted work taking place, pest and rodent infestation, falling plaster from walls/ceilings, and more. Tenants may report building violations on the City's 311 website or by contacting the 49th Ward office at 773-338-5796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evictions Resources & Early Resolution Program
Tenants who receive an eviction notice should not self-evict. Only the Sheriff is legally allowed to carry out an eviction. A landlord cannot try to remove you from your home. There are legal aid resources available for tenants facing eviction. We encourage anyone facing eviction to reach out to a legal aid organization to better understand their rights as a tenant and seek help.
The Department on Housing has compiled resources for tenants facing eviction, which can be found on its website at chicago.gov/eviction.
Early Resolution Program:
The goal of the Early Resolution Program (ERP) is to meet the needs of the growing population of self-represented litigations facing eviction. ERP was developed by the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts in partnership with the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. The program helps promote, facilitate, and enhance equal access to justice.
The ERP connects tenants facing eviction with legal aid and other resources to work towards a resolution with their landlord to remain housed in the unit.
The criteria to be invited into the program includes:
The Petitioner must be self-represented;
A Summons must have been issued; and
Cases must be filed at the Daley Center.
It is critical that a tenant facing eviction be present at their first eviction hearing and not represented by an attorney to get enrolled in the Early Resolution Program. When the tenant's case is called, they may then be referred to the ERP, where they can connect with legal aid and other resources. Additionally, during the first hearing, a second hearing will be scheduled. It is imperative that a tenant attend BOTH hearings otherwise a default judgment against them will be issued.
The program benefits for the party/parties include:
There is no charge for the ERP session(s);
Meet with an impartial Hearing Officer who will provide early intervention and make recommendations on cases;
Become informed on what to expect during the process of litigation;
Become informed on a variety of resources;
Learn about the process in a positive and impartial environment;
Learn to successfully navigate through the court system, resulting in fewer visits to court; and
In instances where parties have an agreement, parties will leave the session with all relevant documents and instructions to appear before their assigned calendar/judge.
Legal Aid Resources
There are a number of legal aid resources in the City of Chicago to help tenants understand their rights and provide advocacy. It's important that tenants connect with these resources when facing issues with their landlord so they understand their rights and options for recourse.
Click on the resources below to learn more:
Online legal aid resources via chat only
Metropolitan Tenants Organization
1727 S. Indiana STE 3G
773-292-4988 (1-5 pm)
Legal Aid Chicago
120 S. LaSalle STE 900
Uptown People's Law Center
4413 N. Sheridan
Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing
33 N. LaSalle
Cook County Legal Aid
Eviction Help Illinois