HACC

Q: I have a change in income or a change in household members, what should I do?

A: Write a letter to your Housing Specialist, detailing the changes. Be very specific. You can report the change by email, by fax or by mail. All changes must be reported within 30 days so that you and the HACC are paying the correct portions of rent.

Request for Interim (HCV Use)

Q: I received a termination notice. What should I do?

A: Mail or drop off a written request to appeal the termination to the HACC’s downtown office, located at 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 350; Chicago, IL 60615. Briefly explain why you think the termination should not take place. If the termination notice was because you did not send in documents (ex: signed forms or check stubs for your recertification) or take an action (ex: correct fail items in your unit after an inspection), be sure to send in the missing documents or correct the failed item(s) in your unit and include that information with your appeal.

Q: My unit failed inspection. Do I have to move?

A: When your unit fails inspection, you may not have to move. The tenant and landlord have time to correct any items that have failed inspection. When fail items are not corrected and the unit fails a second inspection, the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and/or Utility Allowance Payment (UAP) will be abated (stopped) until the unit passes inspection. Routine repairs must be complete within 21 days and emergency repairs, deficiencies that pose a threat to health or safety, must be completed within 24 hours.

Tenants who have outstanding fail items are not eligible to move.
If the landlord fails to correct the fail items, the tenant is eligible to move.
When the HAP is abated (stopped) and the landlord does not make repairs, the tenant must move to another unit to remain in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Q: How do I complete the inspection self certification?

A: When there are 10 or less non-emergency fail items at an annual inspection, a self-certification form will be included on the inspection report sent to the landlord. After the repairs are made, the tenant and landlord must both sign the form and fax it to (312) 895-2409 within 21 days of the inspection.

If the self-certification form is not received within 21 days, the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) will be abated and the unit will have a fail status.

Q: I just bought the property, and there are Section 8 tenants living in the building. How do I get paid?

A: Contact the HACC for a change of ownership packet. You will need to submit the completed forms and provide proof that you are the new owner of the property, such as a deed or title insurance.

Change of Ownership Forms

Q: I need another copy of my 1099.

A: Contact the HACC’s Finance Department at (312) 542-4664 or at achdept@thehacc.org.

Q: I am having trouble paying my utilities.

A: Contact your utility provider to see if you can get on a payment plan or get other assistance.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides a one-time benefit to eligible households for use towards energy costs. The monetary assistance is based on four criteria: income, household size, fuel type and geographic location. Apply through Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc (CEDA) at 208 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2010, Chicago, IL 60604-1001 or by calling (800) 571-2332.

Q: I need help with paying my security deposit?

A: Many agencies may be able to provide help with security deposits, including The Illinois Department of Human Services and the Alliance to End Homelessness.
Tenants who are enrolled in the Community Choice Program and who lease a rental unit in an Opportunity Area may be eligible for a security deposit grant of up to $500.
For additional information, call the HACC at (312) 663-5447.

Opportunity Areas and the Mobility Program

Q: When can I move?

A: You can move around the time that your lease ends. Make your request to your Housing Specialist at the time you receive your annual recertification paperwork. You will need to have your landlord sign an intent to vacate form or show that you notified your landlord that you intend to move. More information about the moving process will be explained in the moving paper briefing.

Intent to Vacate

Q: I want to move to another state/PHA jurisdiction?

You can use your Voucher anywhere in the United States through a process called Porting. Make your request to your Housing Specialist, including the city and state where you would like to move. The HACC will send your information to the Housing Authority that covers the geographic area where you are moving. That Housing Authority will contact you for a briefing on their housing process.

Port Out Request

Q: My tenant is not paying rent/damaging property – what can I do?

You should enforce your lease the same way you would with a market rate tenant. It is a good idea to document any issues with tenants through written notices sent to the tenant and a copy sent to the HACC. If the tenant’s violations are serious or repeated, you may want to consider evicting the tenant.

Q: I pay my rent in cash, why do I need a receipt?

It is a good idea and in your best interest to always request a receipt or use a money order to pay your rent so you can show that you are paying your portion of the rent.

Q: My landlord will not complete repairs, what should I do?

Send your landlord a letter with a list of the items that need to be repaired and a deadline to complete the repairs. Be specific about the repairs and be realistic with the deadline. If the landlord does not make the repairs or respond to your request, you can then request a complaint inspection from the HACC.

Q: My job has a Chicago residency requirement, can I move to the suburbs?

A: Be sure to clear your proposed move to the suburbs with your employer. You cannot use a Chicago address to show residency for work while actually living in the suburbs. Either your employer or the HACC will question your actual residence. In the worst case scenario, you could lose your job and your Housing Assistance.

Q: Can a family member, such as a daughter or son live with me without being on my voucher?

A: No. Every person who lives in the unit must be reported to the HACC. If you share joint custody of a child, be sure to list that the child has more than one residence because the HACC cannot subsidize a bedroom for a child when the voucher holder’s home is not the primary custodial residence.

Q: An acquaintance is on parole, is the acquaintance allowed to provide the parole officer my address

A: No one can move into your unit without prior approval from the HACC, but having a criminal background does not necessarily make someone ineligible for housing assistance. Contact the HACC to find out if your boyfriend is eligible to move into your home. Do not allow acquaintances to move in without approval and do not allow anyone to use your address.

Q: When is my rent due?

A: The 1st of every month, with a five day grace period. After the 5th day, a late fee will be charged in an amount listed in your leasing contract. Please refer to your lease or see your Property Manager for additional information.

Q: Where do I send my rent?

A: The Housing Authority of Cook County:
175 West Jackson Blvd, Suite 350
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Q: How do I request a Reasonable Accommodation?

A: Download the form here: Request for Reasonable Accommodation  You may also receive a form at your Property Manager’s office.

Q: Why do I have to be re-certified every 12 months?

A: If your rent is income based, re-certifications must be performed every 12 months as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  If there are any changes in your income, eligibility, or family composition you must notify your Property Manager within 10 days of this change and he or she will conduct an interim re-certification, even if you had a re-certification conducted within the past 12 months.

Q: What is the HACC’s policy on pets living with leaseholders?

A: Before a pet is allowed on HACC premises you must first obtain written permission from HACC by providing all requested documentation.  The forms to request the addition of a pet to your household can be found on the HACC website and at your property manager’s office.  Pet requests will not be approved if they do not meet the HACC’s Pet Policy requirements.

Q: Can I have a live-in aid?

A: HACC will approve a live-in aide if needed as a reasonable accommodation in accordance with 24 CFR 8, and as described in Chapter 2 of this policy, to make the program accessible to and usable by a family member with disabilities.

Request for Reasonable Accommodation (Multi-Family)

Request for Reasonable Accommodation (HCV)

Q: When will the wait list for Low Income Public Housing Open?

A: The Waiting List(s) will be re-opened when HACC determines that more applications are needed for any, some, or all bedroom sizes. Check our home page for wait list openings.

Q: What is a Utility Allowance?

A: Utility allowances are provided to families paying income-based rent when the cost of utilities is not included in the rent. When determining a family’s income-based rent, HACC must use the utility allowance applicable to the type of dwelling unit leased by the family.

Q: How many inspections a year does HACC conduct?

A:  It varies; please see below.

Annual Inspections: HACC is required to inspect all occupied units annually.

Quality Control Inspections: The purpose of quality control inspections is to ensure that all defects were identified in the original inspection, and that repairs were completed per the required Housing Quality Standards. Supervisory quality control inspections will be conducted in accordance with HACC’s maintenance plan.

Special Inspections: HACC staff may conduct special inspections as frequently as it deems necessary for any of the following reasons: housekeeping, unit condition suspected lease violation, preventive maintenance, routine maintenance, or if there is reasonable cause to believe an emergency exists

Other Inspections: Building exteriors, grounds, common areas and systems will be inspected according to HACC’s maintenance plan. Inspections required by municipalities as may be required by local government agencies.

Q: What is Section 504?

A: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that any entity that receives Federal funding must be accessible for persons with disabilities.

Q. What is the Housing Authority required to do under Section 504?

A. The Housing Authority must ensure that all of its programs and policies are accessible for persons with disabilities.   The Authority must also ensure that there is a grievance policy to resolve issues or complaints that may arise.

Q. If someone requires a Reasonable Accommodation under Section 504, what should they do?

A. There are two (2) forms that are required to be filled out.   The first form is called: Request for Accommodation, it is a two (2) page form that is filled out by the tenant or applicant that explains in their own words why they are in need of the accommodation and what accommodation they need;  The other form that needs to be filled out is called the Third Party Certification of need for a Reasonable Accommodation; This is a three page form that is to be filled out by a doctor or a third party who is familiar with the person’s condition and needs and will be able to give an accurate picture of what the applicant or tenant needs.

Q. What is the housing authority’s process for responding to Requests for Reasonable Accommodations?

A. According to the ACOP and the Administrative Plan, the response time for request from tenants in the Low-Income Public Housing Program is up to 30 days from the receipt of the request, and for tenants who are part of the Housing Choice Voucher  (HCV) Program, The Section 504 Coordinator has fifteen (15) days to send a response to the tenant regarding their initial request.

Once the initial response is sent out, if the tenant or applicant disagrees with the decision, he or she has ten (10) business days to file a written appeal  providing facts that they believe may change the decision; If after those ten (10) days, there is no change, then a written response will be sent to the tenant or applicant advising them that if they disagree with the decision made on their appeal they can request to have an informal administrative hearing scheduled at a mutually convenient time for both parties.

Q. What are some examples of possible Reasonable Accommodations that can be requested from the Authority?

A. Some possible accommodations that can be requested from the Authority include but are not limited to: Live in Aides, Extra bedroom due to disability, transfer due to disability.