The Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund (CLIHTF) needs your help to extend our services to communities in the city of Chicago! We would like to raise awareness about our Open Enrollment Initiative.  

As we are witnessing gentrification, rapidly rising rental prices, and the displacement of long-time residents in various community areas, the CLIHTF is responding by assisting Chicagoans in staying in their neighborhoods by making units affordable. 

The CLIHTF Rental Subsidy Program (RSP) makes units affordable by bridging the gap between the cost of monthly market rent and the amount of rent a low-income family can afford by providing rental subsidies. In an effort to market this program, CLIHTF asks that you please assist in our landlord recruitment by recommending prospective households and landlords who you believe will make great partners in this program. We want you to know that we now offer all training materials and informational webinars in both English and Spanish. With your assistance, we will be able to provide an affordable housing option to eligible clients in your network.  

How does the RSP work?  

The RSP rental subsidies are provided through an annual agreement between CLIHTF and the property owners and managers for properties located in Chicago to assist households living at or below thirty percent (30%) of the AMI. These subsidies are “property-based,” meaning a subsidy is approved for a given property unit and is not committed to any one specific tenant. The subsidy granted to a property unit is not transferable or portable in most cases. The permanency of the Rental Housing subsidy provides an opportunity for a Property to maintain a stable rent base while providing stability for each tenant benefiting from a subsidy.   

CLIHTF does not select tenants. The landlord is responsible for recruiting, screening, and qualifying all tenants in accordance with their tenant selection plan. Property Owners are expected to market the available subsidized unit(s) in a manner that allows broad access to qualified low-income tenants and are expected to comply with all laws concerning non-discrimination and fair housing. Eligible tenants are also encouraged to bring their current landlord on board. Tenants leasing RSP units must be able to pay a tenant portion of the rent (generally 30% of their income) and meet income qualifications as verified by the CLIHTF (household income not exceeding 30% of the area median income or about $27,000 for a family of 4). 

Please note that all units added under this outreach initiative will be enrolled as Rental Subsidy Program Units. These units will not be reserved for any Special Initiative, and tenants will NOT be eligible for zero income waivers should they lose their source of income. In the future, your agency will not be required to identify eligible households for the units added under the Open Enrollment Initiative. The landlord reserves the right to rent the unit to households outside of your network in the future. 


What household types qualify for the RSP? 

Because the units added under this outreach initiative will be rental subsidy program units, all households that are referred to CLIHTF by your agency must be self-sufficient and able to maintain a consistent income source for the duration of their lease term. CLIHTF does not mandate service provider support for households in rental subsidy program units, so households that choose to onboard their current landlords under this initiative must be able to comply with program guidelines without service provider assistance. Service provider involvement is optional for rental subsidy program units, so all households referred to CLIHTF by your agency must be independent enough to fulfil CLIHTF’s requirements for tenants without service provider assistance.  


What housing types qualify for the RSP?  

Both non-profit and for-profit owners of properties buildings located in Chicago are eligible to participate in the RSP. CLIHTF seeks to offer a variety of housing types that include single-family homes, two-flats, and multi-unit apartment buildings, as well as special needs housing and single room occupancy developments.  

With the exception of single-family homes, two-flats, and rental properties with less than 9 units, no more than thirty percent (30%) of the units within a Property will be subsidized by the CLIHTF.   


What are the referral guidelines? 

CLIHTF is looking to enroll 500 units under the 2022 Open Enrollment Initiative. There is no limit to the number of referrals that your agency can provide at this time. Please keep in mind that the Rental Subsidy Program is a property-based program. All tenant referrals should be informed that they cannot benefit from a Rental Subsidy Program subsidy unless their landlord is approved by CLIHTF’s Board of Directors. All households should be informed that the Rental Subsidy Program subsidy is paid directly to the landlord, and the household will not have the opportunity to move with the subsidy unless the landlord chooses to decommit the property from the program.  

Please note that CLIHTF does not have the capacity to accept referrals from your agency for households without a current or perspective landlord. 


Tenant/Landlord Recruitment 

Below, you will find links to our Rental Subsidy Program General Overview presentations in both English and Spanish. We would appreciate if you could distribute these resources to interested Tenants and/or Landlords who are serviced by your Agency. We would like for all income eligible tenants to know that CLIHTF is a property-based program, and that their landlords must enroll in CLIHTF’s RSP to receive a RSP rental subsidy. The tenant’s role in this process is to inform their landlord about CLIHTF, and to refer the landlord to CLIHTF. Tenants cannot apply for CLIHTF’s RSP on behalf of their landlords. In viewing the presentations, interested tenants Landlords will receive more detailed information about the roles and expectations of the Landlord participants. The presentation instructs interested Landlords to fill out an intake form, and to register for one of our biweekly Rental Subsidy Program Informational webinars. 


How do landlords apply and qualify for the RSP?  

When agencies provide CLIHTF with landlord referrals, interested landlords will receive an intake form and application. A CLIHTF coordinator will assist the landlord in completing the application should they have any concerns. The CLIHTF coordinator will also assist the landlord in scheduling an inspection of the property and each unit that will be part of the program to make sure units meet acceptable Housing Quality Standards. The coordinator will then seek final CLIHTF Board approval so that CLIHTF can enter into an RSP contract with the landlord for the designated units. Once approved the by the board, the Landlord will be able to submit payment requests to receive quarterly subsidy payments in advance of each quarter.  

Knowing that we are all committed to bringing housing opportunities and stability to our City’s neighborhoods through the provision of rental housing assistance, the Trust Fund would like to express our sincere appreciation for any assistance your agency can offer in making this a successful recruitment effort. Should you require additional information regarding the Rental Subsidy Program, I have included a link to our program guide at the bottom of this letter, for your review. We also ask that all recommendations be emailed to the Trust Fund at info@clihtf.org, at your earliest convenience. Please include the owner’s name, address, email, and telephone number. Please feel free to send the attached flyers (available in both Spanish and English) to any tenants or property owners serviced by your agency that may be interested in joining CLIHTF. 

Again, we thank you for your assistance and we look forward to hearing from you soon.