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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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Section 8 Update

by Julio Martinez 

The Section 8 waiting list re-opened this past July. Applications were made available at all city public libraries as well as in community agencies.

In the two weeks of July in which the waiting list was open, 104,000 applications were received, of which 20,000 were rejected because they were incomplete or duplicates.

In anticipation of an enormously successful campaign, the plan was to select 25,000 applicants for the waiting list using a lottery.

The CHA was so impressed by the response that they decided to increase the original number of applicants for the waiting list by 10,000 to bring the number from 25,000 to 35,000.

Already 2,000 persons have been called for preliminary interviews from this new list.

The program offers applicants the opportunity to choose a community to live where they believe their family would be in a safer environment, where their children would receive a better education and where parents may find improved job opportunities.

In the past the Section 8 program was poorly managed and encountered many problems. Two years ago, the program was turned over to CHAC, Inc., a nationally recognized housing management firm known for its dependability and professionalism and as a result the program was stabilized.

An added benefit is that landlords are now seeking to become part of the program.

Scattered Sites

The Habitat Company has constructed more than 1,300 new scattered site housing units. These units are intended to blend in with the communities in which they are built.

The units are attractive, spacious, similar in height to surrounding buildings and have wrought iron fences to discourage unwanted visitors.

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Focus On Section 8

by Annie R. Smith 

The CHAC Inc.’s Section 8 Housing Program is a rental assistance program which allows income-eligible households to rent housing on the private market.

The Section 8 program has given residents inside and outside of CHA a chance to move into more peaceful and cleaner surroundings. The only initiatives are bringing in documents and finding your own apartment. Some residents have found their dream apartment while others have come face to face with a living nightmare.

For instance, four properties on the North Side were terminated from the Section 8 program as of July 13. That’s $618,000 per year in federal funds that was issued to the slumlords for years but finally stopped by CHA and HUD. People were living in deplorable conditions.

CHAC Inc., the private company that manages the Section 8 program for CHA, stopped approving new Section 8 leases for those properties in February 1997, after a number of failed inspections. CHAC’s reports indicated serious code violations at the buildings, not to mention police calls surrounding gang and drug activity, roach and vermin infestation, broken appliances and fixtures and failed emergency items such as exposed wiring, gas and wire leaks.

Despite their warnings, when CHAC returned for follow-up inspections, they found little change.

Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40), in whose ward contains some of the properties, said at a July 8th press conference, “Let’s not allow bad landlords to continue to have good tenants to live in squalor. We will build places for people to live in but we should not allow people to live in squalor.”

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