Regional Housing Initiative - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Regional Housing Initiative

Creating opportunity in Chicagoland—and around the nation

RHI for Developers

What is RHI?

The housing crisis and recession have led many more households to seek apartments and single-family homes for rent in the suburbs. Yet the availability of affordable rental homes in areas with good job opportunities, transportation options and quality schools is falling far short of demand in metropolitan Chicago. Adjusting to this “new normal,” suburban communities are seeking smart strategies for attracting quality developers and property managers that ensure rental homes—whether new or rehabilitated—are an asset to the community and meet the needs of working families. 

The Regional Housing Initiative (RHI) is a one-of-a-kind partnership between eight regional housing authorities in northeastern Illinois, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), and MPC. Participating housing authorities pool a portion of their available rental assistance to provide long-term support for the rehabilitation or construction of multifamily, affordable rental homes in great communities across the region.  

RHI helps to create affordable rental housing where shortages are particularly severe—typically in areas with good jobs, transportation options, and quality public education—and that meet the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Housing Endorsement Criteria. The initiative actively seeks out and subsidizes developments located in low-poverty, high-opportunity communities or in communities undergoing reinvestment and redevelopment that would benefit from increased housing stability.

Why RHI?
  • Low-income families gain access to housing in attractive communities, while paying reasonable rents set at 30 percent of their incomes. 
  • The owner of the development receives a steady source of rental income throughout the 15-year operating subsidy. 
  • Developers using RHI are more competitive for IHDA’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding. 
  • Homes that receive funding support regional and local housing goals.

How to apply

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), as part of implementing GO TO 2040's recommendation for increasing the range of housing options, particularly options that promote housing affordability in areas near transit, is coordinating the RHI application process in 2015-2016. Please visit this link to learn more about how to apply for RHI subsidies with CMAP or contact Jonathan Burch at

For more information

Breann Gala
Project Manager
312 863 6029

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

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