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Crystal Clear Views

by Crystal Medina 

Dear Crystal,
My upstairs neighbors are seriously getting on my nerves! I live in an apartment that I have rented with the help of a housing choice voucher. The other tenants in the building do not have this assistance. At first, my neighbors were great. Then the loud music started at really late hours of the night. Their children are constantly running and bouncing balls over our head. I find garbage on the landing of my back porch, that I believe they have left there. I finally complained to the lease holder one night, after I had enough of the music, and she apologized. A couple days later, the problem persisted except this time, it was the loud music, her kids running and jumping all at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday! I went and complained once again. She apologized again, turned down the music, but her kids kept being a nuisance. Read more »

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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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Harold Ickes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The Gospel Comes to Ickes

July 10, 2004 was not the first time Bishop Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Church brought a true gospel program to the residents of Harold Ickes. In the all purpose social arena, we were treated to uplifting, soul stirring singers and gospel happy dancers.

Bishop Larry Trotter (second from right) pictured here with Ickes residents (from left) Rueben Howard, Shamarka Clark, Krystal Rice, Anthony Clinton, Kwanay Evans and Quentin Savado. Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

The program was planned to remind weary souls of the power of the spiritual side of life, the joy of seeking a new way of life and the proof of happiness found as confessed by members of the visiting congregation.
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Update: Zoning and Affordable Housing

by Michael Ibrahem 

Incentives or mandates: which tool will increase affordable housing in Chicago? On the one hand, Mayor Richard M. Daley wants to use density bonuses as incentives for developers to build affordable housing units. On the other side, several alderman are proposing strict mandatory requirements to ensure affordable units and better meet the needs of low-income residents.

At a May 26 press conference, the Mayor announced zoning changes that he says will have an impact on affordable housing in Chicago.
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Residents: “What People Want”

by Gabriel Piemonte 

More than one year ago, We The People Media began a new effort that has recently produced the first of what will be an ongoing series of reports relating to the CHA Plan for Transformation, the agency’s $1.5 billion effort to totally redevelop public housing in Chicago. The creation of “What People Want: The Relocation Information Center Feasibility Study” has expanded We The People Media’s employment of public housing residents in the pursuit of resident-based documentation and analysis of the low-income communities in and around public housing developments.
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Presidential Election Notebook

by Michael Ibrahem 

There was more activity and excitement surrounding the recent presidential election than most Americans living today have experienced in a lifetime. Throughout the nineties, the media presented convincing evidence showing continued apathy among registered American voters. Today, due to the excitement already mentioned, I suspect most of the apathy has dissipated, and that everyone has an opinion. More people were more passionate about the election than ever before.
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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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A Taylor-Made Election

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Residents from Robert Taylor A who relocated into the Quincy and Langston Homes were upset when they found out they could only vote for the B side of the development.

“I lived on the Robert Taylor A side for 33 and a half years,” David Wilson, a relocated resident from 4410 S. Federal said.

“I don’t think that that is right that I have to vote for whoever is down on the south end of the development when I have lived most of my life down on the north end.” Wilson said. “I know the people running there, why should I have to vote for an area that I didn’t live in?”
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More CHA Residents Voting Woes

by Mary C. Piemonte 

For more than 30 years, residents using project-based Section 8 Housing Vouchers within the City-State properties have participated in Tenant Council Elections along with the residents living in public housing units at the sites, according to Robert Whitfield, an attorney representing the CHA resident councils. But, for this election, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development put a stop to that before the November 2004 resident elections.

These residents living in the CHA City-State properties were stripped of their voting privileges because they were not developed under the United States Housing Act of 1937 and are not eligible for operating subsidy because they do not qualify as public housing developments, according to HUD.
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Wipe Out

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The families living in the remaining buildings at Madden Park Homes on the South Side were wiped out of the Tenant Council Election this November. They received no official notice of the change that the Chicago Housing Authority made just prior to the resident elections.

Residents allege that, without the residents’ knowledge, CHA replaced their leadership. Eunice Crosby, the Local Advisory Council president for Madden Park and a resident of the community for the past 12 years, was dumped for Mary Wiggins, the LAC president for Washington Park Scattered Sites and president of the Central Advisory Council, the body of public housing residents to which the city negotiates directly. This unexpected move on the part of the CHA denied the residents – and the LAC president – the opportunity to vote or run in the elections. It also means that the relocated residents of Madden Park have no official, elected representation in returning to their mixed-income community. But Crosby is challenging that notion.
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