Archives:

Archer Courts: A Model Rehab

by Jacqueline Thompson 

For hundreds of CHA residents who have been promised better living conditions as a result of onsite renovations, there have been reoccurring disappointments. Time goes by and not much upgrading has taken place in Ickes, Dearborn Homes, the Ida B. Wells extension and many other developments.

On the other hand, Archer Courts, located at Cermak Road and Archer Avenue, has been renovated from A to Z and presents a stunning picture of just what can be done to change poor housing conditions into tip-top, safe, comfortable dwellings. My initial visit had me in awe from the moment I arrived on the grounds.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Harold Ickes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Ickes Rumor Mill

Rumors are common throughout the Harold Ickes Development.

With all the buildings that once were the giants of State Street gone so quickly and completely, it’s no wonder residents of Harold Ickes and Dearborn are feeling insecure, panicky and left out of the loop of knowledge as to when the wrecking balls and other monster razing equipment will roll up on Ickes and the Dearborn Homes.

This is how I suspect the tear-down monster rumor sounds when it rears its ugly head: “Yeah! They’re going to tear down 2222, 2240 and 2250 because the new school can’t be seen from State Street.”
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

You Have Been Served

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Many of the residents in the Cabrini-Green public housing development are up in arms after receiving a 180-day notice from Chicago Housing Authority to vacate their buildings.

Residents in Cabrini feel that the CHA notices have been served out like pieces of cake, as if it’s something good for the low-income residents.

“The reason we served those 180 day notices is because those buildings are in the worst shape and are unsafe to live in,” Derek Hill, a CHA spokes-person said.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Bronzeville Community Alert

by Mary C. Piemonte 

On April 30th, several prominent people met at the Renaissance Apartments at 37th Street and Wabash Avenue to alert the public about gentrification and the Chicago Housing Authority redevelopment in the historic Bronzeville community.

At the slightly attended meeting, people spoke on behalf of their businesses, churches and homeowner associations, discussing housing for poor and low-to-moderate income level residents, crime, and the rising cost of property taxes for their homes.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

No C.H.A.N.C.E. For Change?

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor
Do the residents of public housing have a C.H.A.N.C.E.? C.H.A.N.C.E, the Chicago Housing Authority and Commonwealth Edison program, is supposed to address the issue of high unpaid electric bills. Or was that just something to stop the media from crawling up the backs of CHA and ComEd?
In previous editions of Residents’ Journal, I detailed how public housing residents were stuck with extremely high electric bills from ComEd, bills that could jeopardize their eligibility for replacement housing, Section 8 and could even damage their credit, making access to housing in the private market difficult. In the Relocation Contract, the CHA stipulates residents must be lease compliant, including being current with all utility bills. Some residents had unpaid bills as high as $22,000. CHA and ComEd created C.H.A.N.C.E. to solve this problem.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Deadly Moves: In Too Deep

by Beauty Turner 

Ulysses “U.S.” Floyd was 14 years old when he decided to run with one of Chicago’s most infamous street gangs. It was 1965. “My mother died when I was 11 years old, and my father was a workaholic. I’d barely ever see him,” Floyd said. “I did it for the camaraderie, friendship, family. And, besides, all of my friends were in a gang already.”

Like Floyd, many men and women who join street gangs at an early age find themselves feeling like small fish swimming in deep, shark-infested waters. Once they take the bait—usually the money, fancy clothes and flashy cars that gang leaders have—they are hooked and stuck for years.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized

Deadly Moves: Lack of Force

by Mary C. Piemonte and Brian J. Rogal

When Francine Washington noticed hordes of police officers outside U.S. Cellular Field this spring, she walked toward the ballpark and counted them. The stadium, home of the Chicago White Sox, sits about three blocks west of the Stateway Gardens public housing development where she lives with her husband of 23 years.

For years, Francine Washington complained about open drug dealing in the first-floor lobby of the Stateway Garden high-rise where she lives. Only recently have routine police patrols in the building slowed the drug activity.
Photo by Mary Hanlon

“I went out there twice. The first time I counted 105 police officers out there. The next time I counted 107 officers,” said Washington, president of Stateway’s local advisory council, an elected tenant body.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized

Deadly Moves: Troubling Development

by Mary C. Piemonte and Brian J. Rogal

While Mayor Richard M. Daley is touting his plans to remake Chicago Housing Authority developments into mixed-income neighborhoods, a firm that manages one of his showcase communities is charging that the city is not doing enough to stop open drug dealing on its site.

The city has a lot riding on the Near West Side’s Westhaven Park. A failure to attract market-rate renters and buyers could set a bad precedent for other public housing redevelopment efforts.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized

Deadly Moves: Moving at Their Own Risk

by Beauty Turner and Brian J. Rogal

The Redevelopment of public housing creates new dangers
Nicole Wright thought her new home in Englewood would be safer than the Robert Taylor Homes. Last fall, her family was displaced from the dilapidated high-rise at 4037 S. Federal St., one of dozens demolished under the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation.

Her new neighborhood is filled with blocks where trees shade homes with big porches, and neighbors sit out and enjoy the pleasant weather. But this area is also plagued by drugs and gang violence. Like many relocated out of public housing developments, Wright had a teenage son, Kemp, 16. Teenagers can be dangerous for families leaving public housing, even if they are not members of a street gang. And gang members in Englewood looked upon the Wright family with suspicion.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized

Publishers’ Introduction: Deadly Moves

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher and Alysia Tate, Publisher of The Chicago Reporter

A plan intended to transform the lives of public housing residents has also transformed the city’s illegal drug market — often with deadly results.

The stories in this issue document that connection. They are the products of a year-long partnership between the Residents’ Journal and The Chicago Reporter, a 32-year-old investigative magazine which keeps leaders and concerned citizens informed about the ways race and poverty shape our region’s key issues.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized