Landlords Creating Solutions
Chicago Rents is a new initiative led by All Chicago to recruit and support landlord partners to fill their units with a purpose. We partner with homeless service providers throughout Chicago to support tenants in housing. We serve as the connector of landlords, people in need of homes, rental subsidies and housing support case managers. Together, we can end homelessness in Chicago.
All Chicago leads a community-wide effort to make homelessness history in Chicago. Landlords are the key to our vision of a Chicago where everyone has a home.
The City of Chicago is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable residents by developing targeted support for people experiencing homelessness during this global health crisis. Read this letter from the office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot to learn more about how the city is supporting this initiative.
Why partner with us?
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) is working to house 1,250 households experiencing homelessness that are affected by or at high risk for complications from COVID-19 within the next 9 months.
Meeting this goal will require a coordinated effort. The Chicago CoC is calling on landlords and property owners across Chicago to participate in the Chicago Rents Program and provide available rental units to support their fellow Chicagoans experiencing housing instability. Learn more in this article detailing our work in the American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) newsletter. Some of the benefits of partnering with the Chicago CoC include:
Landlords receive guaranteed, timely rent payments and security deposits, incentives to hold empty units, and funds to offset atypical costs.
Landlords won’t need to advertise unit vacancies, saving on advertising costs. Landlords can communicate directly with our staff about unit vacancies and Chicago Rents will quickly refer tenants for available units.
Tenant Case Management
Tenants receive supportive services for the duration of the lease from trained staff, laying the foundation for a positive tenant-landlord relationship while the case manager is responsive and available for any concerns. If the match doesn’t work out, we can help to facilitate a move into a more suitable unit and quickly identify a new tenant, avoiding costly evictions.
All Chicago will make timely payments and has recently introduced the use of direct deposit, allowing rent payments to be deposited straight into your account.
Chicago Rents staff will obtain necessary documents such as W9 paperwork, direct deposit forms, and proof of ownership to expedite payment processing. The Chicago Rents staff will also conduct virtual inspections of units which can be shared with several potential tenants.
You can be part of the solution for ending homelessness for your neighbors in Chicago. On any given night, there are over 6,000 households experiencing homelessness in the city. As a landlord or property manager, you have an opportunity to help, while filling your units more quickly and having supported tenants.
What is the Expedited Housing Initiative?
The COVID-19 crisis has made housing insecure populations even more vulnerable, and highlighted how important housing is for both individual and community well-being. To respond to this crisis, the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) developed the Expedited Housing Initiative (EHI) to house those who are affected by, or vulnerable to, COVID-19.
EHI uses federal funding to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness to quickly obtain housing. This funding provides financial assistance and support services to ensure success. All Chicago serves as the System Coordinator for this funding and works with different partners throughout Chicago to provide housing.
The process of matching a tenant to an available unit involves five steps.
- Identification: A Chicago Rents Housing Locator contacts landlord about a potential tenant moving into a unit. Chicago Rents staff complete a virtual inspection and collect the necessary documentation.
- Viewing and Terms: Potential tenant views unit through a recorded, virtual viewing. Housing staff, potential tenant, and landlord discuss terms.
- Lease signing: Landlord and tenant sign program forms and lease, using DocuSign and other technology to facilitate social distancing.
- Furniture Delivery: The Chicago Furniture Bank will coordinate with the landlord to arrange a furniture delivery prior to move-in.
- Move-in: Tenant will receive assistance moving in from Chicago Rents staff.
Chicago Rents Property Partner Onboarding
Erik Czaja from All Chicago created an onboarding video for landlords and property owners interested in the Chicago Rents program.
Chicago Rents Property Partner Onboarding Process
Erik Czaja created this document outlining the property partner onboarding process.
Just Housing Amendment Video
Charlie Isaacs from Uptown People’s Law Center created a short video for landlords on the Just Housing Amendment.
JHA Screening Process Guide
Cook County Commission on Human Rights
Share your available unit info
To support us in this effort, landlords can share their available unit openings using this survey.