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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.
http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?9BBFD3CA9ADCCBCE90

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 wethepeoplemedia.org

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

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Enter Survey, Win a Laptop Computer!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

 

Dear Friends :

We The People Media is asking people to fill out an on-line survey we developed with the Local Advisory Council resident leaders. Anyone that fills it out gets the chance to win a laptop computer or a gift card!

The survey is geared toward current CHA residents as well as former residents, but we’re looking for everybody’s opinion. Feel free to copy the link and send it out to others:

http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?9BBFD3CA9ADCCBCE90

 

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An Afternoon of Good Times

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The second annual National Public Housing Museum fundraiser, billed “An Afternoon of Good Times,” was attended by a sold-out crowd of cheering guests, eager to applaud the hard-working hosts and their choice of honorees, former public housing resident luminaries and their achievements. The welcome address by Chicago Housing Authority officials Joyce Chou and Scott Ammaral was a smooth take-off into an illuminating program.

Next, Ald. Walter Burnett (21) graciously introduced Bern Nadette Stanis aka “Thelma” from the popular 1970s television sit-com “Good Times,” which brought Chicago’s own Cabrini Green public housing development into focus nationwide. She is the national spokesperson for the museum and was the mistress of ceremonies for the event. Stanis’ background includes a past of actually living in the Brownsville Housing Development in Brooklyn, N.Y.

CHA tenant leader Francine Washington (right) is joined with actress Bern Nadette Stanis, also known as "Thelma" on the "Good Times" television sitcom, and Keith McGee, director of the National Public Housing Museum, after receiving an award from the museum during their "An Afternoon of Good Times" event at the Chicago Cultural Center on April 10, 2011. Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

As a part of the afternoon’s theme honoring former residents through the “Telling Our Stories” Award, she shared with the audience the important message from her father that gave her the confidence to grow naturally, by understanding that, “What’s around you does not have to be in you.” The sound inspiration coming from within her home life gave her strength and courage “to do better than what ‘they’ said my future could only be. Thank you.”

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Ickes Homes News: The Final Curtain?

by Jacqueline Thompson 

For over two years, Residents’ Journal has been reporting how the Harold Ickes Homes Chicago public housing site was supposed to be rehabbed along with Dearborn Homes, Cabrini Green Rowhouses and the Altgeld Gardens far South Side public housing complex, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) April 2008 Moving to Work Agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority.

In the interim, CHA closed down and demolished most of all the buildings at Ickes, and gave residents the choice to relocate to another CHA-rehabbed property or use a Housing Choice ( Section 8 ) Voucher to rent housing in the private market.

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Harold Ickes Homes Update

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The Harold Ickes public housing development is one of the last to go through change under the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation, now in its 10th year. All around the city, renovation and rehabilitation has brightened up the city’s neighborhoods. New architecture both outside and inside has replaced decades-old buildings with outdated floor plans and replacement housing for residents of CHA who are eligible for the Right to Return. As a long-time resident of Ickes, the most often question I am asked is, “What are ‘they’ going to do with Ickes?” And further, “Are ‘they’ going to tear down, rehabilitate or redevelop?” My answer is, “I don’t know.” I have inquired of persons in high places, and so far, the latest answer has been, “Nothing has been determined yet.” That was from Matthew Aguilar, CHA spokesperson. Aguilar did promise to inquire further and get back to me. I wait patiently.

I tried to check with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD published that “Harold Ickes was not subject to demolition.” But I was unable to speak directly to anyone. Even after many referrals from one individual to another, I still couldn’t get an answer. I wait patiently. As I continued to wait, I was drawn to CHA document FY2009, Moving to Work Annual Plan for Transformation Year 10. In it, on page 55, I found that Harold Ickes comes under the “Properties to be Redeveloped or Rehabilitated” section:
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Ickes Leader Challenges CHA CEO

by Mary C. Piemonte 

It is no future at Ickes,” declared Gloria Williams, the resident leader at the Harold Ickes Homes, to Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) CEO Lewis Jordan at the Tenant Services meeting on March 11.

Williams was upset because CHA has been rapidly closing down buildings and emptying out the 738-unit public housing complex without having a formal federal plan to redevelop or rehabilitate the site. “You can steadily put people out,” Williams said. “I just want my people and the people here to know that I did everything I could. But when housing decides to tear your land down…it’s no stopping. I cannot stop them. “It’s not a ‘we’ thing. It’s a CHA thing. I used to be a part of it. Now it’s just a CHA thing,” she added.
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Harold L. Ickes Homes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The lives of Harold Ickes’ residents were disrupted when three buildings out of the remaining 11 were ordered to be vacated of their tenants.

The remaining residents of a building in the Harold L. Ickes Homes move, leaving the three buildings of the 2400 South State St block vacant.
Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

Families moved daily for three months. In the final days, pressure was put on the few remaining families to go, and eventually, no one lived in the three buildings in the 2400 block of South State Street.
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Harold Ickes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Round up at Harold Ickes Homes

Picture this: men and women in black from the gas mask helmets on their head to the heavy boots on their feet, carry artillery rifles and walk two by two through the Harold Ickes Homes. Some train their eyes on upper floors in the buildings, ready to fire. A special helicopter clatters above the scene to ensure no brave runners escape.

This was what the “round up” that took place at Ickes in October 2006 was like. If you never have been in a round up, you have missed a close-up chance to witness real warfare tactics.

These youths of the CHA Harold Ickes public housing development, pose with their National Teachers Academy teacher after their eight-grade graduation Ribbon Pinning Day in May 2007. Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

Over the past three years, families forced from Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens have moved to Ickes, but so have the poorest, the sickest, the homeless and the most downtrodden victims of illegal drug use and trafficking. As the two, now extinct developments mentioned above were torn down, illegal drug traffic grew at Ickes.

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Jackson Visits Ickes

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Earlier this year, Carl Jordan was visiting his mother, Betty Jordan, a senior citizen who lives in the Harold Ickes Homes. Carl Jordan had moved out of Ickes but often returned to see friends and family. As he left his mother’s apartment, Jordan said the police approached him on the floor where she lived, threw him against the wall and went into his pocket, taking his keys. The police then took Jordan back to his mother’s apartment, opened her door with the keys they had just taken from him and barged in, flashing lights, talking loudly and scaring his mother.

The incident was recorded on a questionnaire issued by Ickes residents Aaron Boyd and was one of the incidents that inspired Rev. Jesse Jackson and others to visit Ickes in early October to spotlight reckless police activity taking place at the development.

From left: 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. TK; and Tamara Holder outside of Ickes. Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

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Ickes and Other CHA News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Once again, the residents of Harold Ickes Homes have been rewarded with a new manager. Her name is Renell Caint. Once again, we are faced with a new person not familiar with the residents, a person unknown to the residents. The reasons for the successive changes have never been fully revealed.

However, some things remain constant. Late rent statements that sometimes carry new charges or incorrect charges that take months to unravel. But the latest blow touches every lease holder occupying an apartment within CHA properties. I learned of a new $20 “Surprise and Demand Blanket” when I overheard one resident talking to another.
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