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