Deadly Moves: Moving at Their Own Risk

by  and Brian J. Rogal

The Redevelopment of public housing creates new dangers
Nicole Wright thought her new home in Englewood would be safer than the Robert Taylor Homes. Last fall, her family was displaced from the dilapidated high-rise at 4037 S. Federal St., one of dozens demolished under the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation.

Her new neighborhood is filled with blocks where trees shade homes with big porches, and neighbors sit out and enjoy the pleasant weather. But this area is also plagued by drugs and gang violence. Like many relocated out of public housing developments, Wright had a teenage son, Kemp, 16. Teenagers can be dangerous for families leaving public housing, even if they are not members of a street gang. And gang members in Englewood looked upon the Wright family with suspicion.
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Residents Sue CHA


Former and current public housing residents who claimed to be “involuntarily displaced and segregated” filed suit against the Chicago Housing Authority on Jan 23, 2003. The lawsuit alleges that CHA “failed to provide adequate relocation assistance and effective social services to families displaced by public housing demolition,” in violation of federal law and CHA’s contractual agreements with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and with CHA resident leaders.

After previous interactions with residents who were displaced by the CHA, and after communications with current residents who participated in their housing research, attorneys of the National Center on Poverty Law, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Business and Professional People for the Public Interest came together to stop the public housing agency from displacing other families in the future. Read more »

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Harold Ickes News


A Welcome Gang of Bangers
The banging, scraping and grunts began in earnest midway through August.
A welcome gang of bangers had arrived, wielding hammers, crowbars, screwdrivers and all manners of tools that workers use to get rid of the old and replace it with the new as a long-awaited renovation project for the Harold Ickes Homes went into full swing. Read more »

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Homelessness: A Constant American Tragedy


When it comes to homelessness, the City of Chicago is going the way of Dr. Frankenstein. In the books and movies, Dr. Frankenstein did not foresee the havoc, chaos and destruction wrought by his monster. By making the monster, Frankenstein thought somehow the world would benefit by his creation. He sought to control his creation. But in the end, his monster was uncontrollable.

In the current scenario playing out in this city, the Chicago Housing Authority and the City of Chicago appear to be playing the part of Dr. Frankenstein. The monster is the CHA’s Plan for Transformation. Read more »

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The State Of Section 8


Advocates for public and subsidized housing tenants provided residents and activists with new information about HUD and CHA at a conference April 28 in downtown Chicago. The conference was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Holiday Inn located on the corner of Columbus and Ohio streets. This conference in many ways resembled the one held March 16 by the Chicago Rehab Network at the Palmer House Hotel. This conference was far more interactive that the March 16 event; participants attended various workshops.

The workshops were geared towards the distribution of new information. Due to the workshops’ small size, the atmosphere was that of an intense training ground for activists. It was an atmosphere in which everyone appeared excited and eager to get involved. Everyone – whites and Blacks, rich and poor, scholarly and unlearned harmonized. Read more »

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Transforming CHA: Chewing Up Tobacco Road

by  Assistant Editor

The stores on Tobacco Road are losing business because of the relocation of residents of the low-income areas surrounding the stores.

As I walked down the legendary 47th Street, better known as Tobacco Road, in early March, I noticed a lot of boarded up stores. The Michigan Garden Apartments, better known as the Rosenwald complex, lay barren. The Rosenwald once housed approximately 500 low-income families. Now it’s a ghost town. No children are outside playing; no one is standing outside of the once very busy dwelling.

I was waiting for a tumbleweed to brush by my dusty boots as I continued to walk down the long road of despair. I couldn’t help but wonder: If all the stores that were located in the Rosenwald closed down, then how are the other businesses in the community doing? Read more »

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Cabrini-Green Update



Al Carter of Al Carter Youth Foundation, 880 N.Hudson, Dr. Nehemiah Russell of P.E.A.C.E. and Elder Mary Bartley of St. Luke Church, 914 N. Orleans St., were the key leaders in a march of more than 200 Black men of all ages.

The Black men came to Cabrini-Green from various communities across the city to show unity and to oppose demolition at Cabrini-Green.

The men talked about their concerns that African American families will be displaced by the demolition. Russell said this problem is affecting Black families throughout the country.

Another of the marchers’ major concerns is the need for jobs for residents. Read more »

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