Making CHA Accessible


Access Living, located at 614 W. Roosevelt Road, is a center for services for people with disabilities.

Their mission is to promote self-esteem, and assist the disabled in their efforts to live an independent life. They have personal assistance programs that help the disabled with their grocery shopping and dressing and bathing. They teach people with disabilities how to ride the CTA buses and trains. They also have programs for people dealing with domestic and sexual abuse. They teach young people with disabilities how to take control of their lives.

Access Living’s staff feel they are leading the charge in the fight for the rights and respect long overdue to people with disabilities. Legislation related to the efforts of Access Living include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Amendments Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
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Operation ABLE


I‘d like to inform the readers of an organization that states that it helps seniors, people with disabilities and others find part-time work and training in many Chicago locations, with some offices a few blocks away from CHA developments.

Operation ABLE is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1977, according to their 1998/1999annual report. “Operation ABLE was created by the Chicago Community Trust Organization with a staff of three, a budget of $47,500 and a vision of helping workers 55 years of age and older find employment opportunities.”

The group serves seniors, people with disabilities and others by providing them with employment and training. “Operation ABLE (Ability Based on Long Experience) became known as an advocate for the older workers. In 1990, Operation ABLE revised its mission statement to include services to individuals of all ages, while maintaining its original emphasis on serving the unique needs of the older worker.” Read more »

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Residents Deny Security Improvements


To improve the safety for its disabled, senior and family residents, the Chicago Housing Authority three years ago started paying $12 million annually to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for “supplemental police services.” These services were to include foot patrols of CHA family developments and senior buildings to control continual drug sales and gang violence.

CHA has been reporting major improvements with security since the city police force replaced their former police department in 2000. The CHA Board of Commissioners renewed the contract with the police department for $13.6 million for an additional year at a recent meeting. Read more »
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Housing For The Disabled


People with disabilities will be interested to know there are many officials at city, state and private agencies who are supposed to find affordable housing for the disabled in Chicago.

People with disabilities are treated unfairly in many community-based housing programs. Forcing a person to participate in a program simply because he or she is a tenant is discriminatory and many advocacy groups are questioning the legality of the practice. People with disabilities must be able to choose where they wish to live and the services they need, said Karen Tamley, an activist for the disabled who works at Access Living. Read more »

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Transforming CHA: Senior Only Buildings


The Chicago Housing Authority is making all of its 58 senior citizen buildings seniors-only by excluding new people with disabilities under the age of 50.

CHA’s Management, Analysis and Planning Department (MAP) wrote a Senior Designated Housing Plan. The overview of this draft plan reads, “The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has submitted a one- and five-year plan that calls for the designation of all 58 CHA senior buildings as senior only. The CHA designated 20 buildings as seniors only in 1996 and planned to add 38 buildings as a result of this request.”

“This means that persons under 50 (non seniors) with disabilities will no longer be admitted to seniors-only buildings. Read more »

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