Flannery Homes Update


The residents of the Senior Twin-Towers Flannery Apartments and the surrounding single-family Town Houses of Orchard Park send out warm greetings to the closely neighboring CHA Cabrini Complex and all CHA communities throughout Chicago. We are still very much in here; alive and kicking, growing our veggies, Bar-B-Queing our slabs and living it up in our Golden Years as we have all our lives, as we have taught all you young ones to follow in our footsteps. Just as the CHA is attempting to bring rapid improvement and change in our important environment, so are we too caught up in striving to upgrade and improve. The Golden Years past retirement are supposedly guaranteed and insured to be forthcoming to us since the New Deal of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration in the 1930s. In reality, we residents of Flannery are not turning the magic page at age 62 into a splendid time of comfort and ease. To the contrary, we are still finding we still have to scrap HARD to get and hold onto what we manage to get. We do indeed welcome the help along the way. The CHA help toward the improvement started with private management in February 1997. Our last quarterly issue of the Residents’ Journal detailed the positive steps which private management began here at Flannery. The phases of improvement are continuing in somewhat dramatic circumstances. On Thursday morning, April 24, a general meeting of all Flannery residents was announced. Those interested residents of both buildings gathered in the community day room of 1507 N. Clybourn where representatives of the CHA announced, “The only people who need to stay for this meeting are the people below the age of 62. All others above age 62 may leave.” The representatives then announced, “You will be moved (all S.S.I. recipients) out of Flannery. You S.S.I. recipients have the option of: 1.) Taking a Section 8 and moving to other residences or 2.) You will be moved to Cabrini Green within 1 month.”

The representatives continued, “Make your decision NOW because you will be out of the two Flannery buildings within 1 month.”

A Flannery resident inspects the garden. Photo by Alan Minerbrook.

On Thursday, May 14, the site manager of Flannery, Maria Reyes, called a meeting of all residents of both buildings in the larger meeting room at 1531 N. Clybourn on the 10th floor. Reyes introduced to all the tenants her newly appointed assistant manager, Rosemary Colon, and informed all present of the renewed emphasis on tightened security measures and the admittance of guests. Security guards henceforth will sign in all visitors upon entry both night and day. The resident host is responsible for the visitor until the visitor leaves the premises and the host will not permit the guest visitor to wander around the building, going from apartment to apartment. All tenants are requested to take their monthly rent payments directly to the building management office – preferably in money orders – together with the monthly rent form sent by mail to the occupant.

Work orders for needed maintenance and repairs are to be telephoned to the CHA Customer Support Center whereupon a work order number is provided the tenant. The tenant’s work order number and request is then submitted to the management office. All outside balconies on each floor of each of the buildings are to be completely cleared of all items. All barbecue pits, grills, lawn-chairs, etc., are to be stored in a storage room on the 2nd floor. The fine for violating this Fire Ordinance is $500.per day to the building owners.

The tenants’ laundry rooms hours are established as 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, excluding Sundays and holidays. The managers’ longtime request is that no one begin a wash cycle after 5 p.m. because the doors are locked shut and any clothing left in the rooms will be locked up overnight. This situation still applies to all laundry room users. No guests are allowed to use the laundry room machines.

Reyes again informed us that all tenants under age 62 will be transferred out of Flannery, which is now intended for senior citizens only. She also restated that the One-Strike Rule for CHA will be enforced (see articles in the Spring edition of Residents’ Journal) and tenant eviction will result for violations. Reyes made it very clear that only Elzie Higgenbottom, CEO of East Lake Management Company, can approve “catch-up” rent arrangements and payment plans. Court costs will be assessed in all evictions, Reyes explained.

Venetian blinds and casement windows have proved defective in many tenants’ apartments and replacement blinds and window replacements are being supplied, where needed. Contractors involved have been notified and replacements are being supplied and installed ASAP.

Annual renewal leases are out for re-certification and tenants are being called into the office for the process and signatures. In apartment units where stove burner units are defective and cannot be overhauled, the devices are being replaced on a “most urgent” first basis.

A request was made by Grenadier Realty/Eastlake Management to transfer site manager Maria Reyes to the Henry Horner Homes development, a family housing complex on the Near West Side. A petition was circulated to the residents of Flannery and signed by 70 Flannery tenants to request CHA not to effect her transfer because of her outstanding services to Flannery residents. The request submitted to CHA Executive Director Joseph Shuldiner was acted upon and the result is that Flannery retains its management under the direction of Reyes and her staff. She has won recognition of her merit by being promoted to senior site manager and former site manager Stormee Cohen has assumed new management duties.

As the summer months arrive, we are truly taking enjoyment of the newly installed and re-sodded lawns and garden spaces and truly thankful for the continuing lawn maintenance, watering and lighted care being provided the enclosed gardens and the trees bushes and parking areas of the buildings. Maintenance crews are working hard to keep the halls, stair landings and lobby areas cleaned, waxed, polished and well lighted at all times. The elevators of the 1507 building are seriously malfunctioning and need replacement. Several times during June, tenants have been forced to walk up and down the stairways due to serious elevator breakdowns at sudden and unexpected times. This imposes serious consequences for the many residents of Flannery who are blind and/or use wheelchairs. Most certainly, this situation should demand urgent priority in all respects before a catastrophe occurs.

Flannery Apartments' beautiful new garden. Photo by Alan Minerbrook.

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