Another CHA Chief Bows Out

by Mary C. Piemonte 

CHA CEO Charles Woodyard listening to residents’ comments at a CHA Tenant Services meeting on August 8, 2012. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

For the second time in two years, a Chicago Housing Authority chief announced his resignation even as the agency’s multi-billion dollar plan to redevelop its family and senior public housing remains incomplete.

In June 2011, a month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel was inaugurated into office, Lewis Jordan resigned from his 4-year tenure as CHA chief while city officials investigated his and others’ alleged misuse of CHA credit cards to purchase dinners at expensive restaurants and pay for red light tickets, among other items. 

Now Charles Woodyard, former CEO of the Charlotte Housing Authority in North Carolina, who was appointed CHA chief by Emanuel in September 2011 to replace Jordan, is calling it quits as relocated residents continue to wait to return to replacement housing in mixed-income communities.

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CAC Releases Vision for the Future

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

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.

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Winners from the Resident Survey!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

generic cialis2 pic of Ethan Myra King and winners of survery-1″ src=”×1024.jpg” alt=”" width=”377″ height=”502″ /> Central Advisory Council President Myra King (center) congratulates Mable L. Carter (left) and Deborah Thigpen (right), winners of the random drawing for the 2012 Resident Survey. We The People Media Executive Director Ethan Michaeli stands in the background. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

The 2012 Resident Survey of Chicago public housing tenants 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 Resident Survey was conducted both on-line and in print from May 7 through June 1. The Central Advisory Council commissioned the survey from We The People Media and Local Advisory Councils in Oakwood Shores, Cabrini-Green Row Houses, Dearborn Homes, Princeton Park, Altgeld Gardens, Lathrop Homes, Trumbull Park, Lowden Homes, Wentworth Gardens, ABLA Homes, West Haven Homes, Washington Park Homes, Scattered Sites and senior buildings throughout the South, West and North sides assisted with distribution and collection of the print version.

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Resident Survey Ends June 1!!! Click This Link Today!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 


Attention Attention

Calling All CHA Residents and Former Residents,

Please follow the link below and fill out the following Survey. This Survey will help Resident Leaders negotiate with city officials to make sure the Plan for Transformation 2.0 truly works for all Chicago families.

Everyone who fills out the survey will qualify to win a laptop computer or a $250 gift card. Feel free to share the link with anyone you know. Anyone who fills out the survey is eligible to win the prizes. ACT SOON, the survey closes June 1.

The Survey is sponsored by We The People Media, the nonprofit publishers of Residents’ Journal, working with the elected leaders of public housing families. You can find out more about We The People Media at

Please call the Central Advisory Council at (312) 913-7828 with any questions or concerns!

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New Calendar For Public Housing Tenants

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

There are more than 51,000 families in Chicago’s public housing system, including households in the traditional family style developments like Altgeld Gardens, Lowden Homes and Bridgeport Homes, as well as senior buildings and tens of thousands of families who rent in the private market using Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly known as Section 8 vouchers). All of these residents are represented by the Central Advisory Council, an elected body of tenant leaders who negotiate on tenants’ behalf with the Chicago Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other government agencies. Recently, the CAC put out its annual calendar, which contains a huge quantity of useful information for tenants, and we are providing the 2012 Tenant Calendar in PDF format, free of charge, for either download or on-line viewing.

The calendar will be essential reading for current tenants as well as for the nearly 100,000 more families who are on waiting lists for CHA units and the Housing Choice Vouchers programs, and the tens of thousands of low-income families who need housing subsidies. The calendar contains answers to questions such as:

How is my Rent Calculated?

How do I save money on Electricity and Gas?

Can I have a Pet?

In a sign of the times, the calendar also has a special section for Housing Choice Voucher holders whose building is in foreclosure, and the names and addresses of every alderman in Chicago.

You can click above or on the following link to get the 2012 Tenant Calendar.

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Is Chase Bank a Slumlord?

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Residents of an apartment building at 7263 S. Coles Ave., along with their advocates from the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO), rallied outside JP Morgan Chase’s downtown headquarters on July 15 to demand that the bank maintain their homes.

The tenants claimed that Chase, which received $25 billion in federal funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) last year, let their foreclosed building “waste away.” Many of the families said they feared becoming homeless.

For the past two years, they claimed that Chase, who has been responsible for maintaining the property since 2008, hadn’t honored its responsibility, resulting in deterioration of the building to such a degree that the City stepped in and ordered residents to vacate the property.

Crystal Richards, a tenant of the building who has six children ages 14 to several months old, told Residents’ Journal after the rally that she was worried about finding a place to live with her family.

“We’re being evicted Saturday. And as of right now, I don’t have anywhere to go,” she said. Richards said that she had been paying her rent faithfully to the manager of the building, and added that she was rallying with the others at the bank headquarters to get some remedy for her plight.

Richards said she wanted Chase “to get me some funds and place me and my children in a home or apartment somewhere,” she said.

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Low-income Tenants Rally at Chase Bank

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Residents’ Journal’s coverage of low-income tenants and their advocates, rally at Chase Towers in downtown Chicago on July 15, seeking financial support from the bank for their upcoming eviction, due to the foreclosure of their buildings.

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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.
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Last Day in 4525

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Friday, Oct. 4, was the last day for the residents of 4525 S. Federal St. in the Robert Taylor Homes to be neighbors. The building was being closed in preparation for demolition. The Chicago Housing Authority closed a number of buildings in Robert Taylor this fall to make way for a new mixed-income community they have promised to build in its place.

The residents would have liked a peaceful final day in the building that many of them called home for decades. But the words I most often overheard from tenants describing that day were “chaos,” “mayhem” and “confusion.” Many of the tenants were scared, upset and confused because they didn’t know where they would live, how long they would live there, or how they would live. Read more »

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Harold Ickes New School Update

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The December 1999 RJ first revealed that the residents of 2233 S. Federal St. would feel some of the pain of progress.

The end finally came in recent months, when 65 families received word they would have only five weeks to vacate the premises that had been placed on a prioritized schedule to be demolished. Zip! Zap! No questions allowed. Just be ready for the movers because they will come. And come they did. Read more »
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