September 12, 2012 -Elected leaders of Chicago’s public housing families today issued the 2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report, a comprehensive vision for the future that would see the city provide quality housing to many more low-income families who need it in these tough economic times.
Twelve years after the Plan for Transformation for the Chicago Housing Authority was launched by Mayor Richard M. Daley, much work remains to be done. All of the city’s public housing high-rises for families have been demolished and a small number of mixed-finance communities have been built, but large tracts of land across the South and West sides remain vacant, awaiting a new vision that will deal with the realities of the current housing market. CHA remains the landlord, meanwhile, for more than 130,000 people in low-rise family developments, senior citizen high-rises and private apartments rented through the Housing Choice Voucher program.
Resident leaders worked closely with a team of specially selected experts directed by Lucas Greene Associates, LLC to generate this report, which is being submitted to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CHA CEO Charles Woodyard and other key stakeholders. As the new Mayor and his team craft an update for the Plan for Transformation, which will be released to the public in coming weeks, the CAC’s vision for the future offers a menu of policies, procedures and best practices drawn from around the country. Among other items, the report contains:
- A Housing Market Survey – The report provides a wide scan of the real estate/housing situation in Chicago, the effects of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation on development costs citywide and new ideas such as green housing initiatives.
- A Call to Rebuild on Vacant Land and Re-Open Open Units – In these economic times, with a huge demand for subsidized housing from formerly middle-class families, the CHA should immediately re-open thousands of vacant, unused units at existing low-rise developments and move to build housing for families who need it on vacant land especially on South State Street and on the Southwest Side, where the LeClaire Courts development once stood.
- Revelations of Problems at New, Rehabbed and Senior Developments – Much of the rehabilitation work and new construction performed as part of the Plan for Transformation was sub-standard. Resident leaders are calling for independent inspections of work performed in the past and in the future to make sure residents get good service and taxpayers get a good value.
- Policy Recommendations on Hiring Residents, Occupancy, Evictions and Social Services – Drawing on best practices from around the Charlotte, N.C., Portland, OR, San Francisco, Kansas City and other locations, the report is a gold mine of ideas for how to train and employ residents, provide social services and effectively manage public housing developments.
- A Resident Survey – A survey conducted by We The People Media received an unprecedented response – more than 500 residents provided their opinions on a range of issues. Among other findings, residents strongly oppose term limits, a policy which is being tried by a small number of public housing agencies in other part of the country. Residents also showed strong opposition to expanded drug testing but were highly enthusiastic about initiatives that offer training and employment.
The media advisory for the Central Advisory Council’s 2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report can be downloaded here: 9 5 12 Media Advisory Corrected
The whole report can be downloaded here: CAC_FINAL REPORT_8_20_12
The Resident Survey can be downloaded here: 9 5 12 CAC Survey Final Report with maps for release
For more information, contact: Ethan Michaeli, We The People Media
(773) 726-7280 x 101/(773) 398 3366 (mobile)
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