Note from the Chief HCV Officer, Cheryl Burns
Surprise! Owner News is now a monthly e-newsletter. In an effort to support housing providers as they navigate the ins and outs of the HCV Program, each issue will include a short how-to, an answer to a common question and a timely program reminder ... plus links to our most frequently used resources. We hope you enjoy this new format.
How To Upload Comparable Units to AffordableHousing.com
CHA partners with AffordableHousing.com to maintain a robust database of local rent and utility information, which is then used during rent reasonableness studies for HCV rent determinations and rent increases. While the system already pulls rent data from many sources, housing providers may also upload their own comparable unit data.

Click the thumbnail to watch a short video on how to upload comparables!

Remember: All comparables must be verifiable, market-rate units (receiving no subsidy) and rented in the past year. Uploading comparables does not guarantee that they will be used during rent determination, especially if existing comparables have higher "similarity".
FAQ Corner: Lease Enforcement vs. HCV Program Enforcement
Property owners often ask ... "Why does CHA always advise us to enforce our lease? Doesn't CHA have a HCV Enforcement team? Shouldn't they be doing this?"
The short answer is that, for any voucher, CHA is not a party to the lease, and therefore cannot enforce its terms. CHA's HCV Enforcement team (sometimes referred to as the Program Integrity team) only has authority to investigate alleged violations of the contracts CHA is a party to, namely the voucher with the HCV participant family and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with the property owner. In situations where repeated violations are clearly evident, CHA can begin the process of terminating those contracts. Examples of both contracts can be found in the resources section of the Property Owner Guidebook and Participant Guidebook.
The long answer requires us to look at where the terms of these three contracts overlap.
Note: For property owners who rent units to tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants and also have Project-Based Voucher (PBV) units, these dynamics are easy to mix up! Remember HCV subsidy is tied to the participant family while PBV subsidy is tied to the unit (so the voucher and HAP Contract terms are not the same for both).

HAP Contracts and Vouchers: This one is the easiest, because HAP Contracts and vouchers are intended to exist simultaneously, and therefore contain similar language.
  • For HCVs, the goal of having a voucher is to find an eligible unit and establish (then maintain) a HAP Contract providing subsidy. If the voucher were to be terminated, the HAP Contract would automatically terminate. If a HAP Contract were to be terminated, which is common, the HCV family would need to seek out an eligible unit, and complete the Tenancy Approval process to establish a new HAP Contract.
  • For PBVs, it's the opposite. The goal of having a HAP Contract is to fill subsidized units with eligible tenants. PBV HAP Contract termination is rare — contracts are board-approved for 15-30 years and monitored rigorously. If a PBV HAP Contract were to be terminated, the vouchers would cease to exist (although protections are in place to assist tenants in such a case). If a voucher were to be terminated, which is more common, the HAP Contract would remain in place, and a new voucher would be issued to an eligible applicant.

Leases and Vouchers: This one is a bit trickier, based on the nature of the voucher violations or lease termination.
  • For HCVs, lease termination without cause happens regularly, as property owners navigate market dynamics (selling, buying, raising rent, etc.), and therefore doesn't threaten a voucher. Just like before, the HCV family would need to seek out an eligible unit and complete the Tenancy Approval process to move and retain their subsidy. Lease termination for cause is investigated by the HCV Enforcement team. Some lease violations are also major program violations, and can result in mandatory voucher termination; while others are minor violations, where only a warning is issued and training is required. CHA also has voucher requirements separate from lease requirements, so in some cases, lease-compliant tenants can have vouchers terminated (see next section for more).
  • For PBVs, the "voucher" is actually the PBV-specific HUD Tenancy Addendum, which must accompany the lease. Since subsidy is tied to the unit (not those occupying it), lease termination for cause often results in voucher termination, and voucher termination always results in lease termination. Lease termination without cause is rare, but if it occurs, there are options for families to explore a different subsidy program. Regardless of the scenario, if the lease or voucher is terminated (but the HAP Contract remains), property management would simply pull another eligible applicant from the waiting list, screen them and sign a new lease.
Article continues after the break ...
Download Your 1099-MISC
Property owners who received at least $600 in HAP in 2022 can now download their 2022 IRS 1099-MISC form on the HCV Owner Portal. Simply log in, hover over the FINANCE menu and click on ‘View My 1099’.

The table will identify your IRS 1099 form by vendor number and tax year each are downloadable as a .pdf file.
... continued from before the break

HAP Contracts and Leases (and sometimes vouchers): This one is both the most straightforward and the most complex, so hang in there ... Leases rarely refer to the HAP Contract (since both the HAP Contract and Chicago Fair Housing law requires voucher holders be held to the same lease terms as market-rate tenants) but the HAP Contract mentions leases repeatedly.
  • For HCVs, the HAP Contract is quite specific about the relationship between these three documents. For example: in cases where the lease and HAP Contract contradict, the HAP Contract language controls [Part B Section 2 and 4; Part C Section 17]. Additionally, if the lease is terminated or the family moves from the unit (including if a single tenant passes), the HAP Contract automatically terminates [Part C Section 4]. Furthermore, if the HAP Contract or voucher were to be terminated, the lease would automatically terminate [Part C Section 12 and 13].
  • For PBVs, it's as we've discussed already. If a HAP Contract were to terminate (again, rare), the vouchers would cease to exist, and the leases would terminate. If a lease or voucher were terminated, the HAP Contract would remain, and a new eligible applicant would be selected from the waiting list.
On a Positive Note
HAP Contract terminations and voucher terminations happen for good reasons too!
  • HAP Contract termination is a routine process when a HCV family moves out of a unit. A new one is then established when a HCV family is approved to move in.
  • Families who become financially self sufficient (and can pay their full rent and utilities without subsidy for 6 consecutive months) have their voucher "terminated" because they no longer require assistance. Families also decide to voluntarily give up their voucher for a variety of reasons.
If you look at all three documents simultaneously, you notice that, like most contracts, they are simply outlining expected behavior and related consequences for non-compliance. This is why it's critical for property owners and tenants alike to read all contract terms before signing, to ensure everyone enters the agreement with clear expectations.

The biggest takeaway is this: the Housing Choice Voucher Program is rental assistance. Therefore, if the tenant and the unit remain eligible and compliant with program rules, subsidy will continue (and if they don't, it won't). Any other tenancy concerns should be addressed by the property owner and tenant just as they would if subsidy wasn't a factor.

Questions? Reply to this email, or email Owner Services at ownerinfo@thecha.org.
Resources for Property Owners
After almost three years of weekly live webinars, we’re taking a brief winter hiatus to regroup and plan for the future of HCV education and events.
Don’t worry, you can still watch dozens of recorded sessions online, anytime. Click here to watch.
We want to hear from you! Especially if you’ve never attended one of our educational sessions before ... Would you take a minute to share what you'd like to see from HCV education and events?
Have briefing-related questions, or want to request a 1:1 consultation? The HCV Owner Outreach team is here to help. Email owneroutreach@thecha.org.
¡También ofrecemos estos servicios en español!
Reminder: Automated HAP Statement Emails
At every check run, if a property owner is receiving HAP, they will also receive an automated HAP statement email. If you did not receive an email, try these common fixes before contacting CHA:
  • Statements are only sent to the email address on file for the vendor number.
  • Check your spam folder. Statements come from cdr@yardi.com. We strongly recommend that you add this email address to your safe sender list.
  • Download your HAP Statements on the HCV Owner Portal under the FINANCE menu.

Note: Check run occurs on the 1st of the month (or following business day); and as needed, the 15th of the month (or following business day). You can find the 2023 check run calendar on the Owner Portal under RESOURCES.
Bookmark some of our favorite online resources:
Thanks for Reading
We appreciate your continued partnership! If you liked this newsletter, or have topic suggestions for newsletter articles or webinars, reply to this email and let us know.

Looking for past editions of Owner News? Find them on the HCV Owner Portal chahcvportal.org under RESOURCES.