Chicago a city in Cook County, Illinois

This city is served by the Chicago Housing Authority

Section 8 HCV Waiting List Status: Closed

The Chicago Housing Authority Section 8 Waiting List was open from October 27, 2014 until November 24th, 2014 and is now closed.

The application was online only.  The online housing application was for all three of the Chicago Housing Authority Lottery Waitlists - Family Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher and Property Rental Assistance.  This is the first time CHA has ever consolidated all three of their waiting lists and is the first time it has ever done an online application.

Here are some basic facts about the Chicago Section 8 opening:
  • When the waiting list was last opened in 2010, 203,000 people applied.

  • More than 80,000 people applied on Monday, October 27, 2014, the first day applications were accepted.

  • More than 282,000 people applied during the 29 day open period.  The housing authority had expected more 250,000 to apply during the open period.

  • There were 15,900 applicants who are homeless and will be provided a preference on the waiting list.

  • Three Assistance Programs: HCV, Public Housing, Property Rental Assistance.

  • There was NO local residency preference allowing non-locals to be ranked on the waiting list just like locals

  • Preferences do apply for federally displaced, victims of domestic violence, or families working with Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

CHA plans to conduct a random lottery in early 2015 to choose the applicants that will be added to the final list.  According to the Chicago Housing Authority waiting list website, everyone who applied for the waiting list in 2014 will get a letter notifying them of their status no matter whether they were or were not selected in the Section 8 waiting list lottery.

You may call 312-913-7266 or visit CHA's main office at 60 E. Van Buren, Chicago IL 60616 to determine if you have been selected for any of the waitlists.

UPDATE (4/17/15):  As of April 17, 2015, CHA still had not conducted the random lottery drawing nor had indicated when it may occur.  The CHA Waiting list FAQ ([2].pdf) dated November 25, 2014 (the day the lottery registration ended) says the drawing will be done "early 2015".  What's early?  The first half of the year?  Who know's since it's CHA's wording and they aren't saying anything.

However, maybe the scandal that has been slowly unfolding about CHA using Housing Choice Voucher funding to bolster CHA's pension fund and other non-housing assistance purposes has something to do with it.

Here's the latest news on the subject from The Huffington Post:

Did you know that you can apply for Section 8 anywhere in the country? If your local Section 8 waiting list is closed, you can apply to programs elsewhere. See all open waiting lists across the country on our Waiting Lists page.

Subscribe to our weekly Section 8 Waiting List Alert mailing list

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Disclaimer: This Mailing List is a weekly update of Section 8 Waiting Lists and Affordable Housing across the country and not for any specific Housing Authority, City, County, or State. Furthermore, we are not associated with any Housing Authority or government agency. Subscribing to this mailing list does not constitute as applying for assistance.

Market Overview

Chicago is a city in Cook County, Illinois. The population of Chicago, according to the 2010 Census, is 2,695,598. The total number of households in the city is 1,045,560. The average household size for Chicago is 2.24. The total number of renter households in the city is 575,998 which means that 55.1% of households are renter households.

Chicago’s Federally assisted affordable rental housing stock includes properties financed through the following programs:

Section 8 214 25,667
LIHTC 359 30,548
RD 515 5 85
Section 202 80 5,486
Section 811 29 481
Public Housing 76
Total 610 63,936
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Chicago is 104.80. The largest Federally assisted affordable rental community in the city is Lake Meadows Phase II at 1280 units and the smallest is Sutherland Neighborhood Development Corp. at 2 unit(s). 105 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 8,816 units. Of the 63,936 units, units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Federally Assisted Units By Property

Name Total Units
Lawndale Restoration Lp 1240
The Pavilion Apartments Tc-916-95 1115
Parkway Gardens Apartments 694
Lyons View Devlopment Corporation 694
Hilliard Homes Phase I 654
Town 628
Marshall Field Garden Apt. 628
Northpoint Apartments 608
Lake Shore Plaza 567
Grove Parc Plaza Apartments 504
Lakeview Towers 500
The Pines of Edgewater II 496
T.k. Lawless Gardens I 460
Lake Grove Village 458
Lake Grove Village Apartments 458
Long Grove House 448
The Parkways 446
The Parkways 446
Charles A. Beckett Apts 420
Circle Park Apts 418
Elm Street Plaza 396
Asbury Plaza 384
Germano-millgate Apartments 357
Chicago Community Development Corp. 350
Germano-millgate Apartments 350
Maple Pointe Apartments 342
Cornerstone House 342
Hilliard Homes Phase II 327
Kenmore Plaza 324
King Drive Apartments 315
Cambridge Manor Apartments 312
Atrium Village 309
Lakeside Square Apartments 308
Lakeside Square Apartments 308
Englewood Terrace Apartments 303
Van Buren Park Apartments 299
Concordia Place Apartments 297
Continental Plaza Apartments 292
Continental Plaza Apartments 292
Lake Vista Apartments 286
T.k. Lawless Gardens II 284
Woodlawn Redevelopment No. 2 280
Winthrop Towers 279
Belmont Harbor Towers 277
Midwest L.p. 276
Roosevelt-halsted I Aka Bj Wright Court Apart 272
820 Belle Plaine Cooperative 271
Barbara Jean Wright Apartments 270
St. Stephen 261
Gill Park Cooperative 260
Riverside Village 258
Eden Green Apartments 258
Morningside North 256
Rienzi Plaza Apartments 252
21st 250
Campbell Terrace 249
North Park Village 240
Island Terrace Apartments 240
Shell Woodland Park 240
Michigan Beach Apartments 240
Northeastwood Shores 231
Bryn Mawr/belle Shore 231
Yates Terrace 231
St. Edmund 230
Eastwood Towers 230
Grove Parc Apartments 228
Oasis Senior Living 218
Lake Village East Apartments 218
Woodlawn Residences I 218
Carroll Properties Inc. 212
Pullman Wheelworks 210
South Loop Apartments 208
Cyril Corporation 205
Parkshore East Elderly 205
Heiwa Terrace 201
Academy Square Apartments 200
West Point Plaza 200
Ike Sims Village 200
Lawndale Terrace 198
Roosevelt Square Phase II Rental 198
Hollywood House Apartments 197
Fullerton Court Apartments 196
Diversey Square I 196
Fullerton Courts 196
Lafayette Plaza Housing Coop 196
Congressman George W. Collins 195
Antioch Haven Homes 195
Paul G Stewart Apartments III 190
The Oaks Dearborn Park Elderly 190
Peterson Plaza 189
Sheridan Gunnison Apartments 187
Ravenswood Partner of Illinois Lp 187
Abla Homes Phase I 185
Robert Taylor Homes Phase A-1 181
Roosevelt Square Phase I 181
Montclare Senior Residence Two 180
Indian Trails Apartments 180
Sherway Tower Apartments 180
West Town Housing Phase II 178
Stone Terrace Apartments 173
Morningside Court 171
Holstenbond Lp/lawndale Restoration 170
South Loop Affordable Housing 169
Englewood Gardens Apartments 167
Austin Square Ltd Partnership 166
Lake Park Manor 164
Madden Wells Redevelopment Phase 1a 162
62nd Street Phase II Joint Venture 162
Oakwood Shores - Phase 1b 162
Madden Wells Phase 1b 162
Hyde Park West Apartments 160
Lakefront Sro Corp 160
Universal City Apartments 160
Palmer Square Apartments 160
Lavergne Courts 158
Oakwood Redevelopment Corp. 157
Damen Court Apartments 156
Stone Terrace 156
Drexel Preservation 155
New Vistas II 154
New Vista II 154
Clarendon Courts Apartments 152
East Park Lp 152
6900-south-crandon 152
Pioneer Village Apartments 152
Dearborn Root Llc- Robert Taylor 151
Good Shepherd Manor 151
Jarrell/lawndale Restoration 151
Northwest Tower 150
Alpha Towers 149
Park Shore East Cooperative 148
New Vistas Apartments 148
Lake Park Crescent-phase I Rental 148
Archer Courts Apartments 147
Archer Courts Apartments 146
Commonwealth Apartments 145
Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Apartments 143
St Leo Section 811 141
Sheridan Plaza Asssoc. II 140
West Town Housing 140
Chinatown Elderly Apartments 139
Rush -barton 139
Leland Apartments 137
Drexel Towers Apartments 136
T.a.c.h. Broadmoor Development Corp. Gp 134
Walsh Park 134
South Park Plaza 134
Westhaven Park Iic 127
Pine Grove Apartments 125
Beth-anne Residences 125
Loomis Courts 125
Sunnyside Realty Assocs. Inc. 124
North-park-tower-cooperative 124
712 West Diversey Apartments 124
North Ashland Rehab 124
Victory Center of Roseland 124
Amalgamated Senior Residences 124
Sunnyside Apts 124
Harrison Courts 123
Bethel Terrace 123
Willa Rawls Manor 123
Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. 122
Park Apartments 120
H.i.c.a. Redevelopment 120
Sheridan 119
Gateway Centre Apartments 119
G&a Senior Residence At Eastgate Village 118
Robert Taylor Homes Phase C-2 118
Renaissance Apartments 117
T.e.brown Apartments 117
Hearts United Apartments 116
Anchor House L.p. 115
City Lands 115
Guyon Development Corporation 114
Chatham Park South Cooperative 112
West End Phase II - Rental 112
Maple Pointe Apartments 111
Bloomingdale Apartments 111
Meds Apartments 111
Mahalia Place of Legends South 110
Bloomingdale Apartments 110
Robert Taylor Homes Offsite 110
Senior Suites - New City 110
Wicker Park Place 110
The Bristol Apartments 108
Hearts United Apartments Phase II 107
Scotland Yards I 106
Winthrop Terrace Apartments 106
4536-40 N. Magnolia 106
Ellis Lakeview Apartments 105
Drexel Square 104
Armitage Commons 104
Washington Courts I 103
Krmb Lp 102
Sheridan Park Partners 102
South Chicago Ymca Elderly Housing 102
Greater Southwest Development Corp 102
Pmg Properties 102
Victory Centre of Galewood Slf 102
Lincoln Village Senior Apartments 102
Evergreen Tower II 101
Spring Grove Apartments 101
West Town Senior Housing/aka/ Linden House/a 100
Swartzberg House 100
Renaissance West 100
Evergreen Tower Apartments 100
Englewood Apartments 100
Willard Square Apartments 100
West Ridge Senior Apartments 99
Bryn Mawr Apartments 99
West Ridge Senior Apartments 99
Cottage View Terrace 97
North River Commission 97
Bronzeville Associates Family 97
Paul G. Syewart Phase V 96
Oakwood Shores Phase 2a 96
Near North Lp 96
Senior Suites 96
51st 96
Roosevelt Independence 96
Senior Suites Chgo Central Station Lp 96
Pride Development Corporation 95
Rosa Parks Apartments 94
Drexel Preservation/drexel Ct & Lake Park Eas 94
Lafayette Terrace Apartments 93
Winthrop Partners Corp. 93
Lathrop Elderly 92
Washington Scene 92
Casl Senior Housing 91
The Park At Central Station 91
Morningside South / Jenkins Hall 90
Deborah 90
Senior Suites Chicago Chatham 90
Wheeler House 89
North Town Village 88
Circle Garden Apartments 88
Senior Suites of Garfield Ridge 87
Highland Tudor Manor 87
St. Vincent Depaul Residence 87
Senior Lifestyle Corp. 86
Woodlawn Drexel 86
Churchview Supportive Living 86
Senior Suites-gage Park 86
Wrightwood Senior Apartments 85
Senior Suites of Auburn Gresham 85
Senior Suites of Washington Heights 85
Beth Anne Extended Living 85
Farwell-jarvis Apartments 85
Senior Suites Chicago Bridgeport 85
Evergreen Terrace 84
Evergreen Sedgwick 84
Senior Suites of Hegewisch 84
Washington Courts Apartments 84
Central Woodlawn Ltd Partnr 84
Casa Puebla 83
Essex Apartments 83
Malden Arms Corporation 83
Ruth Shriman Apartments 82
Holland Apartments 81
Tabor Lutheran Senior Housing 81
Tolton Manor 81
Davis Apartments 81
Lawndale New Development Llc 81
Senior Suites Chgo Rauenswood 80
Grant Village 80
St. Sabina Sr. Suites 80
Las Moradas Apartments 80
Haven Towers 80
Pine Central 78
Seventy Third And Dobson 78
Wilson Yard Apartments 78
Uptown Preservation 77
South Shore Lp 77
St. Ailbe Apartments 76
Moo Goong Terrace 75
Cal-met Village 75
Oakwood Shores 2b-1 75
Prete House Apartments 75
Casa Maravilla 73
Hyde Park Apartments 73
Normal Street Properties 73
Ridge Manor Apartments 73
Jade Garden 72
Auburn Commons 72
Michigan Towers 72
Webster House 72
St. Pauls Residences 72
Victory Center of South Chicago 72
Lawndale Apartments 72
Austin Renaissance 71
Marquis Apartments 71
Trinity Acres 71
Thorndale Manor 71
Harold Washington Apartments Corp. 70
6000 South Indiana Apartments 70
Belray Apartments 70
Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. 70
Woodlake Village Apartments 70
Edgewater Shores Apartments 70
Magnolia Arms 70
Keystone Place 69
Sanctuary Place 69
Yale Building 69
Humboldt Park Residence 68
Central Pine Place II 68
Roosevelt Place 68
Mayfair Apartments 67
O'keeffe Apartments 67
Lyndale Place 67
Paul G. Stewart Apartments Phase IV 66
St. Brendan Senior Housing 66
Friendly Towers 66
Lake Park 65
Kensington Court 65
East Lake Mgmt 65
6920 South Crandon Apartments 65
Rebecca Walker Complex Ltd Pian 64
65th Street Apartments 63
Washington Park 63
Shorebank Development Corp 62
Clair House 61
New Pisgah Haven Homes 61
Lake Park Apartments 61
Wicker Park Renaissance 61
Drexel Street Properties 61
Matthew Manor 61
Churchview Manor 60
Genesis Group Ada-throop Inc 60
Roseland Place 60
Oakwood Shores Senior Apartments 60
Woodlawn Center South 60
St Mark Elderly Housing 60
Father Martin Farrell House 60
Brainerd Senior Center 60
St. Edmund 60
Hayes Manor Apartments 60
Emil Jones Jr. Senior Housing Center 60
Roseland Manor 60
Greencastle of Kenwood 60
McHugh Bowles Development Co. 60
Washington Park Elderly 60
Good Shepherd Tower 60
Koram Senior Housing 60
Antioch Senior Housing 60
Margaret Ford Manor 59
Elois McCoy Village Apartments 59
West Haven of Englewood Ltd 59
Rose Haven Manor 59
Renaissance North 59
Paseo Boricua 59
Clifton Magnolia Apartments 59
Humbolt Park Elderly/plaza Taino 59
Fellowship Manor 59
Enola A. Dew Village Apts 59
Naomi And Sylvester Smith Senior Living Cente 59
Booth Manor 58
Antioch Haven Homes II 57
La Estancia 57
Edwin Berry Manor 57
Antioch Homes II 57
Deliverance Manor 57
North Washington Park Manor 57
Liberty Square Apartments 57
Thresholds 57
Magnolia Partners 56
Prairie Park Apartments 56
St Edward's Meadows 56
Liberty Commons 55
2326 E. 71st Street 55
Pride 55
7000 South Parnell Associates 55
Lorington Apartments 54
Whitmore Apartments 54
Coppin House 54
Sankofa House 53
Hearts United III 53
North Avenue Redevelopment 53
Holiness Homes of Vision 53
Austin Real Estate And Investment Corp. 53
Midway Plaisance Senior Apratments 52
Monroe/lavergne 52
Peoples Development Corporation 51
Wentworth Commons 51
Lpw Ltd Partnership 51
Corcoran Place Apartments 51
Scotland Yard II 51
Woolman-washington Cooperative Apartments 51
Humboldt Ridge Apartmnets - Phase I 50
Circle Christian Development Corp 50
St. Edmund 50
Ainslie Manor Apartments 50
The Shaw Company 50
Diversey Manor 50
Humboldt Ridge Apartments-phase II 50
1530-42 N. Kedzie 50
New Life Management 49
Dauphin Ave Apartments 49
Logan Vistas 49
South of The Yards 48
Trinity Oaks 48
Greenwood Court Apartments 48
Lazarus Lp 48
Stewart Court 48
Southeast Englewood 47
South Park Apartments 46
Tach Evans Development Corporation 45
Hispanic Housing Devel.corp 45
Armitage Humboldt Apartments 45
Casa Morelos 45
Mlk Apartments 45
Rowan Trees Apartments 45
Fountain View Apartments 45
Carroll North Apartments 44
5040 W. Washington 44
La Paz Place 44
Rezmar Corporation 44
325 N Austin Apartments 43
Ujaama 43
East Garfield Park II L. P. 42
Westwood Phase II 42
East Lake/west End 1-b 42
City Lands Corp. 42
Lawndale Christian Development Corp. 42
Sacramento Elderly Apartments 41
Tni Development Corp. 41
Kimbark Residential 41
Ada S. McKinley Group Homes Samaritas 40
Anathoth Gardens 40
Bobby E. Wright Housing Complex 40
Habilitative Systems Inc. 40
Howard Theater 40
Normal Parkway Homes 40
Roseland Ridge Apartments 40
Drexel Jazz Jazz On The Boulevard 39
Jazz On The Boulevard 39
Bethel New Life Lp 39
Century Place Development Corp 39
Paradise Haven Homes 39
Lucha 37
Cortland Manor 37
60th 37
Renaissance Preservation 37
The Suites of Autumn Green @ Wright 36
Humboldt Park Apartments 36
Madres Unidas Lucha 36
Grand Apartments 36
Wolcott Real Property 35
Spaulding Apartments 35
Dickens Apts. Rehab II 34
West Haven Park Phase II A1 Tower 34
4441-47 S. Greenwood 33
South Shore Manor 33
Community Development Partners 33
Keller Apartments 32
North Kedzie Development Corporation 32
Entre Nous 32
Praise Apartments 32
Central Pine Ltd. 31
Sangamon Court 31
146 And 419 S. Hamlin 31
Michigan Manor 31
Edward M. Marx Apartments 31
4915 S. Drexel 31
1325 N. Shore Associates 31
Ridgeland/yates 31
St. Edmund 31
Winwood Apartments 31
N 31
Nuestro Hosar Cooperative 31
Northwest Chicago Group Homes/aka/hutchinson 30
Bethel New Life Inc. 30
Michigan Avenue Manor 30
Kenwood Oakland Development Corp. 30
Hamilton Lowe Associates 30
Logan 30
South Apartments 30
Grand Boulevard Renaissdance Apartments 30
Jackson Terrace 29
Woodlawn Center North Elderly 29
East Lake Management 29
Carroll Street Apartments 29
Humboldt Building 29
Rockwell Community Development 29
Marshway Development Corporation 28
46th 28
Austin Shore Ltd. Partnership 28
Perry Village 27
Kimball Apartments Corp. 26
Voice of The People Uptown Inc. 26
Division Street Rehab. 26
4500 S. Drexel 26
Su Casa 25
7024-32 S. Paxton 25
Spaulding/trumbell 25
South Wabash Apartments 25
Four Partners General Partnership 25
Estes Paulina Apartments 25
Providence St. Mel School 25
John York 24
Greencastle of Morgan Pk-b 24
4314-16 Mlk Drive Partnership 24
Townhouse Garden Apartments 24
Ada S.mckinley II Inc 24
The Rezmar Corporation 24
Progressive Square 24
Urbanite Apartments 24
Roentgen School - Switching Station 24
Nuestro Pueblo Ltd Partnership 24
Chicago Community Development Corp 24
Family Rescue Development Corp. 24
Clark Manor 24
Sheba Place 24
Dare 24
Bethel Pace Centre 23
Clark Street Apartments 23
Prairie Haven Homes 23
Victoria Jennings Residences 23
Kenwood Oakland Development Corp 23
The Neighborhood Institute 22
Kolin Court Lp 21
North Washington Park Estates 21
Southwest Chicago Development Commission Gp 21
Dolnick Center Apartments 21
Carroll Properties 20
Redevelopment Services Corporation 20
The Center Apartments. 20
Circle Christian Development Corp. 20
600 North Central Associates 20
4867 N. Washtenaw 20
36th & Michigan Townhouses 20
Boulevard Commons Lp II 19
Thresholds II 19
Kingston Apartments 19
Tni Development 19
Sawyer Gardens 18
45th 18
Homan Square Phase IV Rental 18
Voice Development Corp. 18
11238-42 S. Vernon 18
Homan Square Apts Phase IV 18
5530 N. Winthrop 18
900 W. Windsor 18
Homan Square Phase IV Rental 18
Home Square Phase IV Rental 18
Dorchester Apartments 17
Crystal Courts 17
Ada . McKinley IV 16
Presentation Apartments 16
6109-15 S. Indiana Apartment 16
Kenwood-oakland Development Corp. 15
Southwest Chgo Development Comm 15
Sherwin Manor Nursing Center 15
Chase Street Apts 14
Anixter Village 14
The Center On Halsted 14
6933-35 S. Indiana 13
Tabernacle Apartments 13
4524-26 S. Michigan 12
Laflin Apartments 12
Steve Clare 12
Urndra L. Doctor 12
Jacqueline Terrace 11
1414 N. Washtenaw 10
401-3 S. Kilbourn 10
1517-19 W. Marquette 9
Montrose Wolcott Building 9
Kedzie Apartments 9
Keating Apartments 9
Calumet Apartments 9
Vincennes Apartments 9
Fred Woods House 9
El Valor 9
Creiger Apartments 9
Congress Apartments 8
Cornell Apartments 8
Racine Terrace 8
Thi-7 8
Over The Rainbow Unit I 8
Central Nursing Home 8
One Magnificent Hickory 8
43 King Partnership 8
4819-21 S. Calumet 8
Two Spectacular Michigan 8
3834-36 S. Wabash 6
The Clover 6
McKinley III 6
Michigan Avenue Rennaissance 6
St. Ailbe 811 Housing 6
65 4
Sutherland Neighborhood Development Corp. 2
Hearthstone Partners II 2
Michigan Beach Apartments
Columbus Park
Victory Apartments
West Town Housing Project
301-11 S. Central Park
3502-08 W. Van Buren
4142 North Kenmore
4723 North Racine
Boulevard Commons II
Boulevard Commons Iia
Concordia Park Apartments
Diversey Square
Hica Redevelopment
Jeffrey Apartments
Merrill Court
Rockwell Apartments
Chicago Comm. Dev Corp.
Community Housing Partners
† This Property is Federally Assisted though Unit Counts are not available from HUD.

Rental Assistance for Tenants in Chicago

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties.

In Chicago, there are 358 affordable housing properties providing rental assistance to very low income households. In addition, Chicago Housing Authority provides 51,011 Section 8 rental vouchers in Chicago and the surrounding area.

To qualify for most rental assistance programs a renter must earn no more than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In some cases, rental assistance is reserved for renters earning 30% or less of the AMI. In Chicago, to qualify for Section 8 assistance, a renter household containing four persons must earn $38,000 or less. For some targeted rental assistance programs, a renter household of four can’t earn more than $24,250.

It’s important to remember that in many rental assistance programs there are minimum rent regulations requiring assistance recipients to make a minimum payment of between $25 and $50 per month no matter how low their income.

HUD Assistance Income Limits


Income Limits

All affordable housing programs provided by or through the government have maximum income limits to qualify for assistance. These income limits are typically derived from the Area Median Income (AMI), the theoretical family income of the average household in a given geography.

The AMI is updated each year for each geographical area taking into consideration numerous economic indicators. The geographical areas used for establishing the AMI are either Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) or counties.

Chicago is in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI MSA. The 2015 Area Median Income for a family of four in Chicago is $76,000.

The income limits used for Section 8, public housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits. the HOME program and other Federal programs all are derived from the HUD defined AMI.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits


Rent Limits For Affordable Rental Housing

All apartment units that receive Federal assistance whether that assistance is used to subsidize rents or the cost of construction and development, have dollar limits on the amount of rent a landlord may charge each month. These rent limits are based on the incomes of the renters the property is meant to serve.

As we explained in the income limits section, the maximum income a renter can earn to qualify is based on the Area Median income for the market where the apartment community is located. Likewise, the maximum rent is usually determined by multiplying the annual income limit by 30% (the National housing affordability standard) and dividing by 12 months.

In Chicago, a family of four that qualifies for a three bedroom apartment under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program will not pay more than $0. Rent limits can range greatly within the same apartment community. If the same apartment property in this example also targets persons earning less than 30% of AMI, our four person family’s 68 year old neighbor who earns less than $0 will never pay more than $0.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent Limits


Fair Market Rents (FMR)

HUD establishes a Fair Market Rent each year for each Metropolitan Statistical Area in the country. This rent standard is used to establish payment limits for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial or renewal rents for Section 8 project based assistance. HUD establishes FMR’s for 530 MSA’s and 2,045 counties nationwide each fiscal year.

The FMR is largely a statistical derivative of the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates for 2 bedroom median rent. For the most part, in Chicago, a landlord with a two bedroom apartment to rent, could not receive more than $1,093. Likewise, a renter in need of a 3 bedroom apartment with a Section 8 voucher would have to find a rental in Chicago that rented for less than $1,393.

2015 Fair Market Rents

$812 $922 $1,093 $1,393 $1,624

Fair Market Rent Percentage Change Since 1988

The affordable housing industry has long used the FMR as barometer for local rents. Though the geographic areas FMR’s are based on are broad and there are often wide variations in neighborhood rents throughout an MSA, in general, the FMR is one of the best quick tools one can use to judge housing costs in a place.

We took a look at historic FMR’s in Chicago and found that they have risen an average of 2.59% year over year. The first year in our sample is 1985 when the two bedroom FMR was $521. That same 2 bedroom apartment rent had increased to $966 by 2013. In 2015 the two bedroom FMR in Chicago saw it’s largest single year increase going up by 11.64%.

It’s also interesting to look at the FMR compared to the Consumer Price Index’s housing index to understand how Chicago rents have fluctuated in comparison to the rest of the Nation. The consumer price index grew an average of -0.89% year over year. The two bedroom FMR in Chicago has grown faster than the CPI indicating faster than average rent growth in the market.

The largest single year of 2 bedroom FMR growth was in 2015 at 11.64% while the smallest year of growth was 2012 with a 5.71% decrease.




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Total Households

High Renter
(95th percentile)

Renters or Owners


% of Renter Households


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 515 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


RD Rental Assisted Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Average Units Per Property


Renters with No Vehicle


Renters Below Poverty Level


Renters Who Taxi, Bike, or Walk to Work


Renters Who Use Public Transit to Work

Cook County




Chicago Housing Authority

Housing Authority