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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:48pm
Tue Jan 28, 2014

Housing Activists Call For Increased Oversight Of CHA, More Affordable Units (VIDEO)

The Chicago City Council’s Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved the 2014-2018 Five-Year Housing Plan on Tuesday, despite activists’ criticisms that the plan fails to ramp up oversight of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and therefore does not guarantee increased affordable housing units across the city. 

Implemented by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the housing plan outlines the city’s $1.3 billion investment in the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of more than 41,000 affordable housing units. It was passed by a 8 - 2 vote, with Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Nick Sposato (36th) voting against it. The plan will be considered by the full Chicago City Council on February 5.

But, according to members of the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI), the city's plan should apply more pressure on the CHA to ensure the agency fills vacant public housing units, shrinks the housing wait list, which currently sits at more than 42,000 people, and replaces demolished public housing units.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:54pm
Wed Jan 15, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: E-Cigs, Affordable Housing & Charter Expansion

Progress Illinois recaps some of the happenings at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:16pm
Thu Oct 31, 2013

Astor House Tenants Protest Building Conditions, Management As Original Renters Continue To Be Pushed Out

One the last remaining affordable housing tenants at the Astor House in Rogers Park saw support from a small group of activists who gathered outside the Daley Center Thursday morning prior to his eviction trial.

The tenant, Melvin Jennings, 58, lives in the 147-unit Astor House, which some say is one of the last affordable housing developments in the Rogers Park nighborhood on Chicago's far North Side.

Jennings moved into the Astor House, located at 1246 W. Pratt Blvd., in October 2012, shortly before BJB Properties stepped in to whip the troubled property into shape. The housing organizers argue, however, that BJB took over the property with the intent of quickly rehabbing the units and then marketing them to higher-paying renters, specifically students from nearby Loyola University. The company manages three other buildings in the Rogers Park area and more than 30 others on the North Side, according to its website.

Jennings said he pays $700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, and BJB Properties has already hiked the rent for similar units.

"Now they're asking for the same one bedroom [for] $850 [to] $900, and you got an elevator problem, you got rodent problems," he said.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:57am
Wed Oct 16, 2013

Community Members Launch Economic Plan To 'Take Back Chicago' (VIDEO)

Chicagoans packed a town hall meeting Tuesday evening to launch a new social and economic justice agenda for the city. Progress Illinois was there to learn more about "Take Back Chicago."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:12pm
Thu Sep 26, 2013

Former Ickes Residents Urge CHA To Provide Replacement Housing: 'We Just Want To Come Home'

Chicago Public Housing activists say it is unacceptable that the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has once again broken its promise to deliver replacement housing units for former residents of the now demolished Harold Ickes Homes, which saw its last families move out in 2010.

The Ickes public housing buildings on the near South Side had more than 1,000 units before they were torn down between 2009 to 2010. CHA has yet to bring back 312 replacement units that it promised to construct, and it appears there are no concrete plans to build any of them in 2014, according to CHA's proposed 2014 Moving to Work (MTW) Annual Plan.

On Thursday, more than a dozen former Ickes residents and their supporters gathered at a vacant lot at State Street and Cermak Road, one of the former Ickes sites.

"It is unfortuante that every time that housing numbers were supposed to be promised, those numbers were reduced," said the Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. "The city talks about the economics, but yet money is found to put a tremendously large DePaul center not very far from here, and yet we still have this vacant field."

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