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CHA Opens Wait List in Lincoln Square

by Mary C. Piemonte 

 

Beginning today, residents of the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the North Side can apply to get into a small number of the Chicago Housing Authority’s two, three and four-bedroom units in the area. CHA will accept applications until July 20.

Those who want to apply should go to CHA’s North East Scattered Sites Satellite Office, the garden unit at 2117 W. Giddings St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, and Saturday, July 14. Some of the public housing units will be accessible for people with disabilities.

You must be 18 years of age or older at the time the application is submitted and you must reside in Lincoln Square all through the application process. A picture ID is required along with two documents that prove your address, according to the CHA press release today. You must qualify to get a two-, three- or four-bedroom public housing unit under federal guidelines. After the application period ends July 20, the CHA will have an electronic lottery to determine each registrant’s place on the Wait List.

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CHA Opens Public Housing Wait List for South Side Neighborhoods

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The Chicago Housing Authority is opening up its public housing wait list only for residents of the Douglas, Oakland, Kenwood, New City and Fuller Park neighborhoods.

This will not be a “first come, first served” opportunity to get your name on the list. Instead, qualified applicants will be placed in an “electronic lottery drawing” to determine each registrant’s place on the Wait List after the closing date, according to the CHA.

The registration period begins on June 4 and runs through June 29, 2012.

Residents of those communities can apply at the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church at 4100 S. King Drive Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, and Saturday, June 23.

The Requirements

Those who reside within the boundaries of those outlined areas at the time of application as well as during the screening and unit offer process, and who are 18 years or older, are required to have a picture ID and two forms of proof of current address. They must also qualify for a one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom unit based on the “Occupancy Guidelines” established in the CHA’s “Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy” (ACOP). Their income must not exceed the maximum income restrictions under federal law and the applicants must meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) requirements in citizenship or eligible immigration status. In addition, the applicants “must provide social security numbers for each member of the family, or certification that they do not have a social security number.”

Accessible units are also available. For more information, those interested can call 773-324-6305.

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State Passes Support for Renters

by Michael Ibrahem 

In Chicago, even everyday citizens have definite ideas about affordable housing or the lack of it. Throughout Illinois, activists and legislators alike are pleased with the results of the State House vote on May 4 for S.B.75, better known as the Rental Housing Support Program. “We are very excited about the passing of this bill…it is estimated that this bill could help 5,500 homeless applicants per year,” exclaimed Mimi Alschuler from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

The Rental Housing Support Program plans to assist families earning 30 percent or below an area’s median income. In most places in Illinois, supporters say that’s about $19,000 for a family of four. More than 150 organizations statewide supported this bill. The program would be funded with a $10 state surcharge on real estate documents recorded with county recorders. All total, counties statewide could build a fund amounting to between $25 million to $30 million, though estimates vary. Those funds are expected to be sufficient annually to assist over 5,500 applicants. Each county would be allowed to keep $1 of the $10 surcharge paid for the documents recorded in the county recorder’s office, with the remainder going for the Rental Housing Support Program.
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Update: Zoning and Affordable Housing

by Michael Ibrahem 

Incentives or mandates: which tool will increase affordable housing in Chicago? On the one hand, Mayor Richard M. Daley wants to use density bonuses as incentives for developers to build affordable housing units. On the other side, several alderman are proposing strict mandatory requirements to ensure affordable units and better meet the needs of low-income residents.

At a May 26 press conference, the Mayor announced zoning changes that he says will have an impact on affordable housing in Chicago.
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2004 Election Focal Points

by Michael Ibrahem 

In the previous issue of Residents’ Journal, I wrote about two of the candidates who were competing to be the next US Senator from Illinois. I asked them specific questions of interest to our entire readership. However, there are issues which all voters should become familiar with. To better inform our readers, I have asked a number of local activists to comment on some of the issues we should know about.

On November 2, 2004, citizens of the United States of America will go to the polls to vote. Due to the war in Iraq, economic concerns regarding the national budget, jobs, out-sourcing (sending work to foreign countries) and the threat of rising interest rates, many of us will certainly be aware of the importance and significance of the coming election. Locally and nationally, activists, officials and others are sounding the alarm far and wide to make sure we understand what is at stake.
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Affordable Housing for Humboldt Park

by Crystal Medina Editorial Assistant

On April 26, the Latino community and several legislators came out to Humboldt Park to hold a press conference in front of Shakespeare Apartments, 2141 N. Humboldt Blvd., a building where 36 families lost their homes three years ago. Many residents were forced to move with only three months notice because the Section 8 building was turned into condominiums. Residents were forced to leave despite the fact that they had lived in the building for years, some for decades. This type of scenario is happening more and more often, as the loss of affordable housing causes Latino families to become homeless.

Local Latino tenants joined state Sen. Iris Martinez (D-20), Ald. Rey Colon (35th), Ald. Manny Flores (1st), the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Humboldt Park Social Services and other groups to talk about two bills in Springfield currently under consideration.
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U.S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama

by Michael Ibrahem 

Senator Barack Obama represents Illinois’13th State Senate District, which includes areas of Chicago’s South Side. He was elected to a third term in 2002. Obama is the chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee. He credits himself with expansion of the KidCare and FamilyCare programs to provide insurance for 20,000 more children and 65,000 more families in Illinois.

2004 U.S. Senate Candidate Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

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Debating Affordable Housing

by Michael Ibrahem 

On April 9, the Chicago City Council passed Mayor Richard M. Daley’s version of an affordable housing ordinance. Many activists are concerned that the mayor’s ordinance does not go far enough to alleviate the affordable housing crisis in Chicago.

According to Fourth Ward Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, “We think that this is a good beginning and we’re looking for consideration of our [alternative] ordinance which would apply to the private development community and involve the creation of a lot more units.

Our ordinance is still in committee and we are hoping there will be a point at which it is heard, and we will have an opportunity to provide testimony for its support.”
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Homeless Not Hopeless

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

How many Chicago public housing residents will be left homeless by the Chicago Housing Authority’s ongoing Plan for Transformation? The answer to this question should be ‘zero.’ The CHA is required by law, after all, to provide replacement housing for all public housing tenants that will be affected by the agency’s 10-year effort to demolish, rehab and redevelop the agency’s entire housing stock.

But CHA officials apparently have a different interpretation of their legal responsibilities, as indicated by the recently released numbers of residents who were relocated during 2002. According to those figures, a significant number of residents ended up outside of the public housing system altogether – despite CHA’s responsibility to house every relocated resident.

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Housing on State, City Agendas

by Michael Ibrahem 

All I can say is that it had to happen. Finally, one of our local aldermen came forth to do something positive about affordable housing. It also looks like we are going in a positive direction statewide with the establishment of a body to which activists will finally be able to address directly their concerns about affordable housing. In the last RJ, I tried to direct your attention towards some of the problems we’re up against regarding the zoning code re-write.

What we are expecting now is that the new re-write will appear for a vote before the Chicago City Council this summer, around June 2003. Pete Skosey from the Metropolitan Planning Council chimed into the process with these words, “What we have to understand is that zoning cannot be the solution for everything. Zoning cannot affect the economics of the property. Read more »

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