Regional Housing Initiative offers funding to developers and owners of rental housing in Cook, Lake, McHenry and Will counties - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Regional Housing Initiative offers funding to developers and owners of rental housing in Cook, Lake, McHenry and Will counties

A new rolling application process allows developers and owners of affordable housing to submit proposals at any time.


As of 2015, applications to the Regional Housing Initiative are managed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The information below is not current and is presented for archival purposes.


In an innovative effort to support mixed-income housing that meets the Housing Endorsement Criteria adopted by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus in 2002, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) are working with six regional housing authorities (Chicago, Cook, Joliet, Lake, McHenry and Waukegan). Together, these eight  partners form the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI).

RHI provides financial incentives (via operating subsidies) to developers and owners of quality rental housing addressing two pressing issues affecting northeastern Illinois that resurfaced in recent census findings and reports. Those issues, also priorities within the State's 2011 Comprehensive Housing Plan, are: (1) the shortage of quality, mixed-income rental housing located near jobs and transit, and (2) the scarcity of housing affordable to households earning less than fifty percent of the area's median income (AMI). 

To date,  RHI partners have awarded more than 200 apartment subsidies to 15 viable developments, for a total of 707 new homes, largely in mixed-income communities.


To download an application, see "Related Links" section below. For a list of frequently asked questions about this program, click here.

This rolling competitive application process allows property owners and developers to submit proposals for this round at any time.


In order to be eligible for the extra points awarded to tax credit proposals utilizing these subsidies, RHI applicants participating in IHDA's 2011  tax credit round (final deadline:  April 15, 2011) must contact MPC program assistant Angie Leyva at (312) 863-6017 or to schedule a meeting with RHI staff after receiving preliminary application award, and no later than March 23. This meeting is required to discuss the RHI proposal and coordinate the tax credit and RHI applications.

Developers who secure a commitment from RHI will improve their scores on the Tax Credit ranking system, by leveraging project-based subsidies.  Additionally, since successful RHI proposals must be located close to jobs and transportation,  RHI proposals may also be eligible for points under the Live Near Work and/or Transit provisions (see IHDA’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan for details). RHI is also an effective tool for Cook, Lake, McHenry and Will county municipalities who are covered by (or at risk to being covered by) the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeals Act,  and who are trying to  preserve or expand their stock of affordable homes. RHI proposals located in those communities and applying for tax  credits will also receive extra points in IHDA’s tax credit scoring.

  • Underscoring that RHI is an effective tool for promoting the stability and occupancy of existing apartment buildings near jobs and transportation, MPC, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Preservation Compact, the Chicagoland Apartment Association, Community Invesment Corporation, Urban Land Institute and other partners recently produced a Multifamly Resource Guide to provide property owners and  managers with information on RHI and a number of other programs and resources to support their buildings' long term sustainability and affordability. 
  • Cook County property owners and managers interested in RHI may also be able to leverage additional resources available through the County and the Preservation Compact, including the Suburban Cook County Multifamily Preservation Initiative (SCCMPI) -- which is linked to County HOME dollars, the Energy Savers program and more.
  • Finally, since its amendment in 2009, RHI owners have been able to benefit from the Housing Opportunity Tax Incentive Act, which can leverage savings amounting to approximately one extra month's rent each year for each RHI apartment in property.

For more information,contact Robin Snyderman.

Related Links


  1. 1. lashay miller from lake on May 21, 2010

    looking for low income for me in my to girls i work in go 2 school in we need a plase to live

  2. 2. Angie Parker from west side of chicago il on January 24, 2011

    As a single mother of seven children, with my building about to be sold i really need some help or i'm going to homeless. I also have a friend that is a single mother who lives in a studio apartment with five children also about to be homeless....we really need some help asap please advise

  3. 3. Crystal from 22441 Mission Drive Richton Park, IL 60471 on May 12, 2012

    I'm a single parent with four kids who is homeless and need help ASAP. I'm disable and two out of four of my kids have heart conditions and special needs. Could yuou PLEASE HELP us to find a stable low income home/apartment it will GREATLY APPRECIATED FOR ALL OR ANY HELP you can give concerning this matter. Thanks

  4. 4. trisha from chicago on March 6, 2013

    I'm a single 19year mother of 3young boys. I recently rented an apartment from a building that is foreclosing. needless to say I spent enough money on moving in now I Dnt have enough to move out I work bt time to time have hard time making ends meet. thanks

  5. 5. Dany from NxNnvfuMmzDA on July 1, 2013

    You saved me a lot of hsalse just now.

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