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There’s H.O.P.E. for Gary Residents

by  Assistant Editor

RJ recently learned about a $19 million H.O.P.E. VI grant our neighbors to the south at the Gary Indiana Housing Authority received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1999. The housing authority is using the grant to replace the Duneland Village public housing development with a new mixed income community.

So one day in late January, we drove over the slushy, potholed streets of Chicago to Gary, in hot pursuit of a story about housing being built that might be beneficial to the poor.
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Oops, They Did It Again

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Bill Wilen thinks he’s found a “smoking gun” in his current legal battle with the Chicago Housing Authority.

Wilen, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law who has been an advocate for residents for decades, recently received a package of documents related to the ongoing redevelopment of the Henry Horner Homes on the Near West Side. Among those documents was one that appeared strange.

The paper in question has a header that indicates it is the goals for the “Supportive Services for CHA Horner/West Haven Residents.” To translate from CHA terminology, Supportive Services, also known as “Service Connectors,” refers specifically to those private contractors whose job it is to connect residents with programs including jobs training and drug treatment.
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Clock Ticking for HOPE VI Projects

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Public housing agencies nationwide risk losing their federal funding for redevelopment projects if their projects are not on schedule, according to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department recently.

Will the CHA lose their HOPE VI money, too?

HUD Takes Back HOPE VI Funds
In August 2003, HUD took back a $6.4 million Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) grant for demolition from the Housing Authority of Portland, Oregon for not meeting the deadline for its public housing redevelopment plans.
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Operation ABLE

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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. ÔÇťOperation 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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ABLA News

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Many times when a person thinks of residents of public housing communities, they think of them as down trodden, hopeless and uneducated, people who have no plans, opinions, or ideals as to how they want to live as individuals or families. The stereotypes are that residents are isolated from society.

The ABLA Local Advisory Council (LAC), along with its president, Deverra Beverly, other concerned residents of ABLA and various city agencies are working hard to erase these negative stereotypes. Read more »
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ABLA News

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Many times when a person thinks of residents of public housing communities, they think of them as down trodden, hopeless and uneducated, people who have no plans, opinions, or ideals as to how they want to live as individuals or families. The stereotypes are that residents are isolated from society.

The ABLA Local Advisory Council (LAC), along with its president, Deverra Beverly, other concerned residents of ABLA and various city agencies are working hard to erase these negative stereotypes.

Various meetings have been held to keep the residents informed. At these meetings, residents have been allowed to make major input and educated choices as to things that will make the future of the ABLA community a viable one. These things are needed as the transformation of public housing takes place in the years to come. Read more »

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Dear Resident

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I don’t know about you, but I feel as if I’m looking down the barrel of a loaded summer. In addition to the usual challenges that we face as public housing residents, it is apparent this summer, more than ever before, that we face a new challenge: the redevelopment of public housing.

This redevelopment process started over eight years ago under then-CHA Chairman Vincent Lane, with a federal program titled Hope VI, suggesting the arrival of hope for the hopeless residents of public housing. Today, the process has simply become the redevelopment of public housing and is moving at a much faster pace, offering little hope for too few residents.
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Transforming CHA: Bush Team Keeps CHA Waiting

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Some 2,000 families of the Chicago Housing Authoritys Stateway Gardens, Rockwell Gardens and Robert Taylor Homes may have to wait for the funds for new housing at their developments, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials.

HUD officials confirmed in early February that the Notices for Funding Availability (NOFA) for approximately $105 million in HOPE VI funds for redevelopment of the Stateway Gardens, Robert Taylor Homes and Rockwell Gardens communities had been withdrawn by the administration of President George W. Bush. Read more »
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What’s Happening in ABLA?

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ABLA Homes residents recently received word that their development has received some $24 million from a federal HOPE VI grant. In this article, ABLA LAC President Deverra Beverly examines some of the steps that led to that success.

ABLA instituted a front line feeding program in 1990. This program feeds over 1200 people weekly, 144,000 yearly.

This program is being relocated for vendors. The ABLA community is very concerned regarding when the vendors will arrive. When and if this takes place, the Food Program should be located at the same address, 1254 S. Loomis, and takes place between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and not in the evening at 8 p.m. If the weather is adverse or unsuitable, the person or persons can eat inside. 8 p.m. is too late for children to come to the food site to eat. Read more »

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