Squatters in CHA

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Residents of CHA hear a lot about being lease compliant and so many people are afraid. It seems that lease compliance will keep us from receiving a Housing Choice Voucher or coming back to our own development after relocation. Whether it’s in a big or small way, almost everybody is in some way non-lease compliant.

What made me bring this up is a recent phone call to the Residents’ Journal office from a resident. She was furious about squatters in her development. The squatters were people who just took over a vacant unit and moved in. The squatters acted like they had a lease agreement, putting in curtains, furniture and the whole nine yards. They had a rent-free home. The resident’s management company was notified and the lock on the unit was changed. But the squatters found another unit in the development.

This time, the police were called. The squatters were taken to jail but got out in 48 hours even though management pressed charges.

Management pressing charges is a new situation. In my own development, our former manager would try her best to rid the development of squatters. But the squatters presence just seems to be an ongoing situation.

I spoke with another resident who is angry about an unauthorized person in her building who not only has taken over the unit but now is selling drugs from the unit at night. This person has been told not to come back on CHA property. The blame doesnt lie with the management company because they have gone to court and boarded this unit up.

In these times of relocation, residents who are lease holders would like to know why it is so easy for a lease holder who tries to be lease compliant to be evicted but the squatters seem to be moving in more easily. It seems as though this situation is going to be worse, especially with so many government cut backs.

What is the legitimate lease holder to do?

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