Report: Residents Steered to Poor Areas


A new report finds that the Chicago Housing Authority is not making promised improvements to its “Plan for Transformation,” the ongoing, massive effort to redevelop virtually all of the city’s public housing stock.

Sudhir Venkatesh, a sociologist at Columbia University and a board member of We The People Media, discovered that the agency has largely failed to stop the flow of residents into other low-income, African American neighborhoods. In a new top-to-bottom review of the third year of the Plan for Transformation, Venkatesh found CHA has not kept its promise to care for those individuals and families who were living off the lease, the so-called squatters.
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Electrically Charged

by  Assistant Editor

Robert Taylor Homes residents aren’t the only ones getting charged about their high electric bills. As RJ has reported over recent months, many of the residents in Robert Taylor Homes have electric bills in the amounts of $500 to $22,000, and in some cases more. These unpaid bills are a problem for those residents who are being relocated under the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation.

The Relocation Contract with CHA states that residents must be current with all utility bills or they won’t be eligible for replacement housing. Some of the residents in Robert Taylor accumulated these high bills by not paying for electric service for a number of years. Other residents have wiring that is connected to other apartments and some tenants inherited accumulated electric bills from the last tenant who occupied their apartment. Read more »
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A Smooth Transition For Section 8?


When a number of Chicago buildings began opting out of the project-based Section 8 program earlier this year, many people worried it would cause another homelessness crisis like that of the ‘80s, when low-income families witnessed friends, neighbors and even relatives wandering the streets without shelter. But tenants, their advocates and government agencies are reporting that everything is going well so far with respect to the change from project-based Section 8 subsidies to enhanced vouchers.

Holidays are fast approaching and, as a veteran activist since the 1960s, I have been stressed out about this new threat and not just because I am personally affected. I am currently living in the Del Prado in Hyde Park, one of the buildings that chose to opt out of the project-based Section 8 program. These buildings were built or rehabbed with government support and, in return, the government demanded that the building owners keep at least a part of the building as low-income housing. Once the building owners pay off their loan from the government, they can decide whether or not they want to stay in the program. The owner of my building chose to get out of the program. Read more »

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