ARCHIVES

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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Congress Accuses HUD of Mismanagement

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Section 8 tenants from around the city rallied downtown recently to protest what they described as “deliberate miscalculations” by the federal government which are threatening the housing of thousands of families and seniors in communities across Illinois.

Project-based Section 8 tenants from around the city, including members of the Lakeview Action Coaltion, gather outside Federal Plaza on Oct. 6, 2008.
Photo by Mary C. Johns

Led by the Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC), the protestors alleged mismanagement of Project Based Voucher Program by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at a press conference and briefing outside HUD’s local headquarters in downtown Chicago on October 6, 2008 – International Housing Rights Day.
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Stop The Violence

by Cenabeth Cross 

Located at 2650 and 2710 Ogden Ave. on Chicago’s West Side, the Odgen Courts development is mostly occupied by single parent households, headed by women. The apartments are in deplorable conditions. Mice, lead poisoning and dirty water are only a few of the problems we face daily. And many of us suffer from depression, asthma and other ailments. There are shootings, fights and other conflicts constantly.

One of the most violent acts that has happened here at Ogden Courts between residents was a fight between four women, including the former LAC president, Latresha Green. Also involved was her twin sister, Lakisha, and her mother, Debra. The three of them jumped on a young lady. There were two eye witnesses. One was the young lady’s seven-year-old son.
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Rockwell, LeClaire, ABLA Elections

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Strange Tales from Rockwell

On a dreary, rainy November day, a large Maroon van pulled up to the polling place located at 2540 West Jackson by the Rockwell Gardens development. A short, older man adorned with a gray cap and glasses opened up the door like a gentleman for six young women who exited out of the van. I motioned for one of the young women to come over to talk to me.

Yolanda Buchanan, a resident of Rockwell and a young, single mother of five came over for an interview.Are you a resident, I asked.

“Yes, I’m a resident, I have been a resident for about six to seven years now,” Buchanan said.
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Election Report: Harold Ickes Homes

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The day opened to a dreary sky, which probably was the cause for the slow early morning attendance at the local polling place for the 2004 Local Advisory Council elections at the Harold Ickes Homes. After opening on time at 9 AM, by 9:45 there were only 9 voters’ ballots registered.

This year’s election was carried out by a new organization, the Black United Fund Institute and the Institute for Government Research. The judges were workers hired from the 71st and Jeffery office and their supervisor, Rexford King, was knowledgeable and welcoming to the residents, which made all transactions go smoothly and quickly. The security company was Houston Associates, and their guard, Officer Shabazz, was considerate to the residents, reflecting a calm demeanor that is so important for the conduct of the election.
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Harold Ickes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

There’s one thing for sure you can always count on in Harold Ickes Homes. Common conveniences such as a public laundry room, an elevator that works and work orders being filled in a timely manner are things you will never get.

For years, our Local Advisory Council President, Gloria Williams, has been urging each management group that replaces the last one to simply supply the residents with clean, safe, essential laundry facilities.

To this date, we have no such facility, which causes residents to own and operate their own personal washers that, while in use, spinning away dirty water, flood other residents’ apartments, hallways and stairwells.
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Representing Residents

by Bobby Watkins 

There have been a lot of complaints from public housing residents recently about the leadership in their developments. Some residents feel they are not being properly represented by their elected representatives. Others feel that there is always favoritism in the distribution of donated items, jobs and other things. Some residents also feel monies are being mismanaged. Read more »

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Positive Residents of the CHA

by Bobby Watkins 

A 28-year resident of Stateway Gardens, Francine is long overdue to get her flowers because she is always there when help is needed. She wears many hats, be it with her job as senior program adviser for the resident initiatives department of the Chicago Housing Authority or as Local Advisory Council president, Tenant Patrol member, her involvement in the summer food program and with various boards (including We The People Media), she is truly your super woman. And so much more because she is a wife and mother as well.

But when does she sleep? One thing can be said of Francine – she is one of those people who likes helping others and truly does it from her heart. Many people meet her for the first time, notice that she is quick to voice her opinion, and say, “Ooh, she is mean.” But after getting to know her, you’ll find out that’s what she has to do to keep you straight on the job. Read more »

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Productive Men of the CHA

by Bobby Watkins 

Robert is the newly elected Local Advisory Council vice president in Lathrop Homes. Robert has been involved in the community for the past 5 years and has been a member of the tenant patrol in the 26th Ward. He also serves as the area president where he lives and is involved with the 19th District Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) as well as the summer food program.

Presently, he is assisting residents who have to move. He feels very strongly about the work he does in the community and hopes to be of service to relocating residents with his own moving business. Davidson feels he is part of the team to make things better in his development and says his cause is to fight to make things better and help to make this relocation go smoothly. Read more »
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ABLA News

by Karen Owens 

Many times when a person thinks of residents of public housing communities, they think of them as down trodden, hopeless and uneducated, people who have no plans, opinions, or ideals as to how they want to live as individuals or families. The stereotypes are that residents are isolated from society.

The ABLA Local Advisory Council (LAC), along with its president, Deverra Beverly, other concerned residents of ABLA and various city agencies are working hard to erase these negative stereotypes.

Various meetings have been held to keep the residents informed. At these meetings, residents have been allowed to make major input and educated choices as to things that will make the future of the ABLA community a viable one. These things are needed as the transformation of public housing takes place in the years to come. Read more »

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