Flannery Homes News


A tenants meeting of both high-rise buildings, 1507 and 1531 N. Clybourn Ave., took place Aug. 9th at 2 p.m. The meeting was held by the site manager, Maria Reyes, and she discussed a number of topics.

Recertification of all tenants is scheduled for November 1997 for the new leases for 1998.

She mentioned that 10 people were arrested at 1531 N. Clybourn over the summer. The ten persons were guests of one of the tenants and that tenant has been charged with violating the One Strike rule and will be evicted, Reyes said. All 10 persons are permanently barred from the building and CHA has placed all their names on the exclusion list. One Strike is in force!

Fourteen day notices also are being enforced, Reyes said. A two-month rent arrears automatically brings a 14-day eviction notice. A tenant is served a 10-day notice to appear in court with all rents plus $265 legal fees. CHA asks the court for money and possession of the apartment.

If tenants are going out of town, Reyes said they should let the manager know in advance. A $25 fee is charged for a lock-out – a change of locks to get into the apartment. The managers also charge $25 for a new magnetic key card for the entrance.

The windows in both buildings are being inspected by the original window installer and CHA janitors are being trained to repair defective windows. Blinds are being replaced in small lots to allow the cost to fit into the building management budget.

Elevator defects in the two buildings are being referred to CHA. Rosemary Colon, the assistant building manager, suggested that residents bombard CHA with complaints about the elevators.

Forty units per year are scheduled for re-painting each year. Management is replacing stove-top burners and ovens gradually.

HUD Policy Changes

A few months ago, the building managers announced that all non-elderly residents of Flannery Homes would have to move out. But now apparently things have changed.

At a subsequent meeting, residents were told that Supplemental Security Income recipients, persons with disabilities and senior citizens will share the two high-rise buildings. Non-elderly SSI recipients will not be forced to move unless they violate One Strike or other lease provisions. Those who violate CHA leases will be evicted and will never be allowed to rent a CHA unit again.

HUD’s new directive for rents is that 30 percent of tenants income must be directed for rent.

Managers Come and Go

On Sept. 12, another tenant meeting was held at 1507 N. Clybourn. At that meeting, Reyes said she had been appointed senior manager and property manager for Henry Horner. The new Flannery Towers site manager, David Kane, was introduced to the tenants. Rosemary Colon will remain assistant site manager.

Kane said he planned to make Flannery clean and decent. He described a background of 25 years of law enforcement and 10 years of private management. He said he believed in team tenancy. Kane started a tenant patrol to beef up security in both buildings.

“I walk the floors of both buildings every day,” Kane said. “And I ask, ‘What can be done to improve security?’”

Kane said he believed in open communication.

But as of Sept. 26, Kane was removed as building manager of Flannery. He has been replaced by a new manager, who has not yet been introduced to residents and who is presently in training for the building manager position, according to assistant manager Rosemary Colon.

Laundry Rooms

The contractor who ran the laundry rooms, Family Pride, is being replaced by a new company. New equipment is being installed and new laundry cards for machines will be issued. The machines will not use tokens any more. Residents must ask questions about these new cards.

One Strike Again

A tenant was evicted Sept. 11th from 1531 N. Clybourn was due to resident complaints. One Strike applies again!

Heating began again in both buildings September 15, 1997.

Interviews with Orchard Park Residents

Orchard Park town homes under construction. Photo by Alan Minerbrook.

Orchard Park is a development of town homes built on vacant land around Flannery Homes. According to the documents released by the developer, the Chicago Dwellings Association, three quarters of the 54 town homes will be sold at market rate while one-quarter will be used as apartments for CHA residents relocated from Cabrini-Green.

Today, 15 of the town homes have been built and two of these are occupied by former residents of Cabrini-Green, who won the units through a lottery.

I interviewed both individual purchasers and low-rise renters of Orchard Park.

I interviewed Rafael Ramirez and his wife, Janette. They are both employed as teachers in Chicago-area schools. Ramirez teaches at Morton East High School. They moved here directly from Cordero, Spain, and are first-time home owners. Rafael said he and his wife were used to urban living in Spain and are happy to be in the middle of the city. They also like the convenience of living within Chicago for easy access to their jobs.

They find the neighbors in Orchard Park “sociable, outgoing and very friendly.”

They both feel “safe and unrestricted” at Orchard Park and feel they have made a wise investment in their home. They find the amenities of their home very comfortable and nice.

I spoke at length with Casey Charlton, who shares a unit at 1537 N. Clybourn with Chris Feurer. Charlton described the Orchard Park townhouses as a good investment in inner city living. They enjoy the restaurants, shopping and entertainment facilities with easy access to their home. They are both former residents of Wilmette and enjoy living in the city.

At first, Charlton said she was a little nervous about living so close to Cabrini-Green. But now, she says she is comfortable even alone in the house late at night.

“We’ve experienced no problems of any kind,” she said.

They feel very secure and at ease in their town house within the great community of Orchard Park and are happy as residents.

Former Cabrini-Green residents Geraldine Knight and her son, 20-year-old Aaron, are very much at home in Orchard Park. They enjoy its spacious double bedroom with all of its lawns and amenities.

They both feel a positive transition from their former 17th-floor apartment at 1160 N. Sedgwick Ave., where Knight lived since the age of 8. She won through a tenant lottery and said she wouldn’t change anything at all.

Annie Willingham of 1537 N. Clybourn moved into her new Orchard Park Home in February 1997. She was a resident of 1150 N. Sedgwick in Cabrini-Green for 47 years. She said her Orchard Park home was a gift and an answer to her prayers. She is happy and feels “very, very comfortable in Orchard Park and wouldn’t think of moving again.”

She hopes all of her old neighbors at Cabrini-Green will likewise join her eventually in the new environment of Orchard Park. She is presently changing her voting address and expects to join her Flannery Home neighbors in being active in Orchard’s environment.

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