The Chester Housing Authority (CHA) offers three affordable housing opportunities under the Housing Choice Voucher Program:
The CHA assists approximately 1500 families in the City of Chester and surrounding area.
The goal of both rental assistance programs is to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing opportunities for lower income families in privately owned rental units.
Tenant-based rental assistance offers the broadest choice of housing type and location as eligible families conduct their own housing search and choose where they want to live. The housing assistance is portable and families may relocate to another state, city, suburb, village, small town, or rural area where a voucher program is administered and continue to receive rental assistance.
Project-based assistance means the rental assistance is tied to the rental unit. For a rental unit to be considered for the project-based assistance program, the owner must submit a written proposal to the CHA, and have demonstrated a commitment to upgrading, maintaining, and leasing their rental properties to low-income families. If the proposal is successful, the CHA will enter into a long-term contract with the owner. The project-based voucher program is an excellent tool for ensuring the availability of affordable housing units as market conditions change.
The CHA occasionally opens its waiting list for specific intervals of time to receive program applications. Due to high utilization rates and a sufficient list of applicants, the CHA Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list has been closed for several years and no new applications are being taken at this time.
If funding becomes available, the CHA will provide information regarding the application process for the HCVP Waiting List on this website, in the Delaware County Times, Chester Spirit, at administrative offices and at public housing sites.
In both programs, family eligibility is determined by household income, household size and citizenship or legal immigrant status. Applicants must pass screening for violent or drug-related activity.
The amount of housing subsidy a family receives is determined by the applicable payment standard for the household based on family and unit size. Payments standards represent the maximum subsidy a family can receive toward their rent and utility costs. Payment standards are set between 90 and 100 percent of the HUD-published Fair Market Rent for the Philadelphia/New Jersey Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In both the tenant-based and project-based assistance programs, private investors offer vacant units to eligible families and complete their own tenant selection. The tenant selection process may include an overview of credit and tenant history and a visit to the current residence to assess housekeeping standards. If a program participant moves with continued assistance to another unit, the CHA provides known tenant history or participant history to the prospective owner.
Rents are approved based on market rents for units of comparable size, location, condition, and services and affordability to the family. Families must choose units where the total monthly housing costs do not exceed 40% of their monthly, adjusted income.
Units are inspected prior to executing a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract and at least once annually thereafter. Units must comply with the stricter of local building codes and the federal housing quality standards for the duration of the HAP Contract.
Participant families in either the tenant-based or project-based rental assistance programs who are employed for at least two years, or elderly or disabled, are tenants in good standing, have attended home buyer education and are approved for a mortgage may use their housing assistance towards a mortgage payment. The CHA issues the housing assistance payment directly to the lender.