1. Opportunity Counseling for Voucher Holders.
HCP works with families that have a rent subsidy through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, providing education and support to encourage families to move to an “opportunity” area. Families are given information on tenant rights and responsibilities, housing options throughout the region, and support services available once a move is made. Opportunity areas generally have better educational and employment choices so that families can use their subsidy not just to pay the rent but to improve their lives.
2. Real Estate Outreach and Education.
HCP educates landlords and Realtors about the Housing Choice Voucher Program and fair housing laws.
Listings. HCP actively searches for rental units in opportunity areas for clients.
Holding fee. An incentive fund was created to encourage landlords to try the voucher program.
Speaking. Staff speak to groups of housing providers about the voucher program and fair housing issues.
3. Employer-Assisted Housing.
HCP works with the Metropolitan Planning Council and others so that more employees can afford to live near their jobs. HCP coordinates the program with the employer and a State of Illinois matching funds program so that more renters can become homeowners. Counseling is provided to the employee on the various aspects of homeownership including financing, maintenance, inspections, appraisals etc.
Employers benefit from a more stable workforce while employees gain a stake in the neighborhood.
4. Public Policy.
HCP works with other organizations to improve affordable housing programs and their availability throughout the Chicago metropolitan region. As a member of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, HCP worked to pass a tax abatement bill in the State of Illinois for landlords who rent to voucher holders in opportunity areas. HCP also is a member of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition and monitors affordable housing issues on a state and federal level, providing comment when appropriate.