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No C.H.A.N.C.E. For Change?

by  Assistant Editor
Do the residents of public housing have a C.H.A.N.C.E.? C.H.A.N.C.E, the Chicago Housing Authority and Commonwealth Edison program, is supposed to address the issue of high unpaid electric bills. Or was that just something to stop the media from crawling up the backs of CHA and ComEd?
In previous editions of Residents’ Journal, I detailed how public housing residents were stuck with extremely high electric bills from ComEd, bills that could jeopardize their eligibility for replacement housing, Section 8 and could even damage their credit, making access to housing in the private market difficult. In the Relocation Contract, the CHA stipulates residents must be lease compliant, including being current with all utility bills. Some residents had unpaid bills as high as $22,000. CHA and ComEd created C.H.A.N.C.E. to solve this problem.

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Running Out of Gas

by  Assistant Editor

Cuts to the budgets of state and local governments are slicing into the pockets of the relocatees from public housing. Public housing residents are not the only population affected by the budget cuts, of course. Activists and advocates for the poor are arguing that these cuts are taking and will take a big bite out of the pocket books of the working poor and middle-income residents as well.

Recent reports indicate that the Low-Income Energy Home Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may get $300 million less than last year, if the Bush Administration gets its way. For decades, LIHEAP has helped many elderly and low-income residents by paying their gas and electric bills. Advocates are up in arms about the possibility of thousands of low-income people being affected by this cut. Read more »

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