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Three Chicago Mayoral Candidates’ Take on Public Housing

by Mary C. Piemonte 

In this news video, three of the four candidates who participated in the Chicago Mayoral Forum on Education at Walter Payton College Prep High School on December 15, 2010, talked to Residents’ Journal after the event about their plans for public housing, if elected next year. Pastor and state Sen. James Meeks said, “We need to make them better.”

Former Ambassador and US Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun said, “I believe we should stop tearing them down,” and cited the still-standing Lathrop Homes development on the North Side as an example of a development that should be made into environmentally sound, “green” housing.

“We can provide both public housing and public safety without running (residents) out to the suburbs or forcing them to go hunting for someplace to live,” Moseley-Braun said.

City Clerk Miguel Del Valle said, “We need more affordable housing in Chicago.” Del Valle emphasized that the Chicago Housing Authority’s current plans to redevelop Lathrop Homes do not provide enough affordable housing. “The foreclosure crisis has hit us very hard.”

The future of Chicago’s public housing will continue to be in front of the mayoral candidates all through the election.

The National Public Housing Museum recently announced that in January, they are inviting the mayoral candidates to participate in a “Conversation on Public Housing in Chicago.”

The discussion will take place January 11 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. Public housing residents and media figures will have the opportunity to question each of the candidates to learn how they will “ensure public housing to be a significant part of their agenda,” if elected.

In a press release, National Public Housing Museum Executive Director Keith L. Magee stated, “It is essential for the residents of Chicago to know exactly how the incoming Mayor will handle this delicate and important topic.”

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