Mission, Vision, History and Activities

Our Mission: We are committed to delivering quality, affordable housing where individuals and families can live, work and thrive.

Our Mission Approach: Our team will adopt industry leading practices and seek partners and resources that will continuously enhance our value and exceed the expectations of our tenants and the communities we serve.

Our Vision: We will be recognized as one of the nation's premier providers of affordable housing.

Our History: CHAD’s origins arose in response to a specific need to provide housing for the benefit of low income households. The organization was established as “Community Housing Association of DuPage” in February 1983 by the DuPage County Housing Authority (DCHA) (subsequently referred to as the DuPage Housing Authority) as a result of a long standing lawsuit against DuPage County for discriminatory zoning practices towards minorities and a heightened awareness of affordable housing needs.

Initially, DCHA funded property acquisitions to help get CHAD started and it provided a maintenance agreement. However, by the late 1990’s, CHAD became independent of the DCHA by amending its Articles of Incorporation, establishing its own headquarters location in Villa Park, IL and utilizing its own resources to fund property acquisitions, as well as manage its inventory of existing properties. In addition, CHAD broadened its mission to also serve low income households not receiving any form of public assistance, which now account for majority of its tenant leases.

In 2012, the organization changed its name to “Community Housing Advocacy & Development” (and retained its acronym of CHAD) to reflect the fact that it was expanding beyond DuPage County to help meet increasing needs for affordable housing throughout Chicago’s western suburbs.

Presently, CHAD is the largest nonprofit supplier of quality, affordable, long-term rental housing on a scattered-site model in 29 communities in Chicago’s western suburbs. CHAD’s scattered site model is a demonstrably better housing choice for individuals and families than high-density projects that concentrate poverty and problems. Scattered site rentals provide CHAD with a strong physical presence and stakeholder role within neighborhoods, enabling it to be more involved in neighborhood change and stabilization. For individuals and families, it means having better housing location choices that are closer to jobs, better schools, shopping and medical care.

Our Activities: CHAD operates as a rental property management company with a charitable focus of providing rental assistance, in the form of below market rents. We rent our properties to income qualifying low and moderate income households, who are otherwise cost prohibited from obtaining affordable housing in Chicago's desirable western suburbs. Prior to renting from CHAD, these households have historically paid a greater portion of their income on housing and basic necessities than what they could reasonably afford. Residents pay 25-50% below the fair market rent, collectively saving them more than $780,000 annually. 

CHAD is committed to Equal Housing opportunity for all applicants and we comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act. CHAD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or age. To be eligible to live in CHAD housing, all applicants must meet certain income and other admissions criteria based on the funding restrictions for each property and CHAD’s additional criteria.

CHAD offers a Low Cost Rental Housing lease for individuals and families that do not receive any public assistance and which have limited incomes ranging between 40% and 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). However, in instances where a particular property has been acquired and/or rehabbed with federal grant funding, then the property may be further restricted to low income households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income. Income guidelines for grant restricted properties are based on federal guidelines from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Approximately 75% of CHAD’s housing inventory is income restricted.

Rents for CHAD’s properties are determined by whether or not the property is income restricted and also vary by the size and type of the unit. For income restricted properties, CHAD adopts the fair market rents determined on any annual basis by HUD. HUD rents are lower than market rents offered by landlord in the private rental market.

For all other properties, CHAD offers rents, depending on the size, type and location of the unit, which are 25-50% less than market rents offered by private landlords for similar properties. Generally, the rent rates may be similar to HUD’s ‘fair market” rent rates for income restricted properties. Rents are adjusted on an annual basis based on a community rent survey.

CHAD also accepts tenant applicants who rely on public assistance or community agency support in order to qualify for housing. Examples of public and community assistance include:

Housing Choice Voucher: The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (formerly known as Section 8) is a federally funded program for assisting very low income families, the elderly and disabled persons with their housing needs. Participants in the HCV program may find suitable housing offered by private landlords, such as CHAD, using a voucher issued by a local Public Housing Authority (PHA) such as the DuPage Housing Authority or the Aurora Housing Authority. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. Program participants are required to pay 30% (but can pay up to 40%) of their adjusted gross income towards rent and the federally funded voucher pays the remaining portion of the rent directly to the landlord. CHAD accepts the Housing Choice Voucher at all of its properties.

CHAD does NOT issue nor qualify individuals and families for Housing Choice Vouchers. The PHA administers the voucher program locally and provides an individual or family with the housing assistance that enables them to seek out suitable housing.

Applicants holding housing choice vouchers must still qualify and be approved for rental housing with CHAD based on its Admissions Criteria.

Community Agency Sponsorship: CHAD has developed strong working relationships with several nonprofit agencies to help residents gain supportive, permanent, affordable housing. Basically, these partner agencies identify individuals and families for whom they feel are eligible for permanent affordable housing and "sponsor" them by providing a housing subsidy that is paid directly to CHAD. These organizations may also provide case management, independent living skills training, access to employment support, budgeting, money management, financial literacy training, parent training, behavioral health services, specialized counseling.

CHAD partner agencies include:
Catholic Charities -- Diocese of Joliet
DuPage County Health Department

Community Housing Advocacy and Development 531 East Roosevelt Road, Suite 200 Wheaton, IL 60187 (Map + directions) Phone: (630) 456-4452 Fax: (630) 580-9244

Office hours
Monday–Friday, 8:00am–4:30pm

From the community

“Even though I can’t afford to buy a house, CHAD has given me and my family our dream home.”

—Jennifer S.


14.2% The amount of households making less than $25,000 increased between 2000 and 2010 CHAD helps families stay together.