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Enter Survey, Win a Laptop Computer!

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Dear Friends :

We The People Media is asking people to fill out an on-line survey we developed with the Local Advisory Council resident leaders. Anyone that fills it out gets the chance to win a laptop computer or a gift card!

The survey is geared toward current CHA residents as well as former residents, but we’re looking for everybody’s opinion. Feel free to copy the link and send it out to others:

http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?9BBFD3CA9ADCCBCE90

 

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A Message from the Resident President

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Myra King, President of the Central Advisory Council

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest commentary written by Myra King, President of the Central Advisory Council, the elected leadership for all public housing families in the city. You can find out more about the CAC by checking their web site, tellingourstory.org, or calling their office at 773 913 7828.

Hello Everyone,
My name is Myra King. I am the Local Advisory Council (LAC) President of Trumbull Park and Lowden Homes. I am also the Chairperson of the Central Advisory Council (CAC), as well as a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Resident Commissioner.
I send you this message to ensue that you are aware of the following:
People who live in Scattered Sites, public housing, mixed income and those in the Section 8 Program or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program all have our rents subsidized or with payments by the federal government. We are all tenants receiving help with our rent by the government.
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New Calendar For Public Housing Tenants

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There are more than 51,000 families in Chicago’s public housing system, including households in the traditional family style developments like Altgeld Gardens, Lowden Homes and Bridgeport Homes, as well as senior buildings and tens of thousands of families who rent in the private market using Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly known as Section 8 vouchers). All of these residents are represented by the Central Advisory Council, an elected body of tenant leaders who negotiate on tenants’ behalf with the Chicago Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other government agencies. Recently, the CAC put out its annual calendar, which contains a huge quantity of useful information for tenants, and we are providing the 2012 Tenant Calendar in PDF format, free of charge, for either download or on-line viewing.

The calendar will be essential reading for current tenants as well as for the nearly 100,000 more families who are on waiting lists for CHA units and the Housing Choice Vouchers programs, and the tens of thousands of low-income families who need housing subsidies. The calendar contains answers to questions such as:

How is my Rent Calculated?

How do I save money on Electricity and Gas?

Can I have a Pet?

In a sign of the times, the calendar also has a special section for Housing Choice Voucher holders whose building is in foreclosure, and the names and addresses of every alderman in Chicago.

You can click above or on the following link to get the 2012 Tenant Calendar.

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CHA’s New Plan?

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Click here to listen to We The People Media’s Executive Director Ethan Michaeli on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio’s new hit show “The Afternoon Shift” with Steve Edwards talking about the Chicago Housing Authority’s efforts to revise its Plan for Transformation. Ethan and Steve examine the pitfalls as well as the opportunities of creating a new paradigm for public housing for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago. Ethan speaks during the second hour of the program.

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Charlotte Housing Authority Chief takes CHA Position

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's choice to head the Chicago Housing Authority, outgoing Charlotte, North Carolina, Housing Authority CEO Charles Woodyard. Photo from Charlotte Housing Authority website.

Carlos Ponce, interim chief of the Chicago Housing Authority is out, and Charles Woodyard, the CEO of the Charlotte Housing Authority since 2002, is in. Woodyard will govern CHA’s family and senior housing stock, and oversee the Plan for Transformation, which calls for 25,000 units of fully rehabilitated or renovated housing by 2015.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that Woodyard’s new position begins on October 24, and he added that Ponce will remain as a senior advisor “to help ensure a smooth transition.”

Ponce was put in place after former chief Lewis Jordan resigned after it was discovered that he and other CHA staff members were frivolously using credit cards for things not pertaining to the general operation of the public housing stock.

Emanuel said that Woodyard “has proven management ability and a history of innovation in public housing, and is the right man to lead the CHA to the successful completion of its Plan for Transformation and beyond,” stated Emanuel in a press release. “Throughout his career, Charles has focused on sound financial management and has dedicated himself to providing residents with affordable, sanitary and safe housing. In Charlotte, Charles was able to successfully integrate public housing into communities, a crucial element of Chicago’s Plan for Transformation. He has built strong partnerships with community groups and encouraged private sector investment in public housing, and we look forward to his leadership here in Chicago.”

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Cabrini Row House Tenants Prepare to Fight CHA

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Residents and their supporters protest in the Cabrini-Green Row Houses in June 2010. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Tenants of the Cabrini Green Row-Houses are preparing to battle the Chicago Housing Authority for “reneging” on their promise to rehab all remaining units at the North Side public housing complex.

The final high-rise in Cabrini-Green was demolished this past spring, but 534 low-rise units remain in the complex. In 2008, CHA received approval from the federal government to rehab the row houses. However, only 146 units were rehabbed in 2009, leaving 438 units in disrepair, with a great majority left vacant. Only 33 of those are currently occupied, “creating a 92% vacancy rate,” according to the CHA, which announced late last week that it will not continue rehabilitation and will instead boot out the remaining public housing tenants in the non-rehabbed section of the row houses. CHA claimed that “persistent criminal activity” in the area “forces” them to make the tenants relocate elsewhere.

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Relocation Rights Duel

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Public housing tenant leaders recently chided the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) for trying to deny thousands of former residents their right to return to public housing.

CHA officials admitted in the summer of 2009 they didn’t know the whereabouts of 3,200 families who were relocated under the Plan for Transformation, the 10-year-old effort to demolish most of the city’s public housing developments and replace them with mixed-income communities.

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Robert Taylor On Line

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Robert Taylor Homes still exists – on the Internet.

The last building in the Robert Taylor public housing development was demolished in 2006.

Just a few dozen replacement units have been built, and most of the hundreds of thousands of people who lived in Robert Taylor’s high-rises over the decades have scattered all over the globe.

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CHA Report: Crime Rates Not Linked to CHA Relocatees

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The Chicago Housing Authority reported on November 18, 2008 that “contrary to claims made that increased violence can be tied to former CHA leaseholders.” They determined that no link between the Plan for Transformation’s demolition of high-rise public housing buildings and perceived increases in crime can be made.

Based on an analysis of Chicago Police Department data, CHA CEO Lewis A. Jordan provided a snapshot of how it tenants, and the City of Chicago, are faring since the start of their 1.6 billion housing revitalization plan, at the CHA Board of Commissioners meeting earlier in the day at the LeClaire Courts public housing complex.

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Categories: Special Reports

Who Could Miss The Hole?

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To most people, the Hole was the worst part of America’s toughest neighborhood – the Robert Taylor Homes public housing development. Around the world, Robert Taylor’s 16-story high rises were infamous for their gangs, drugs, broken elevators, single mothers and general desperation. For a generation, those 28 high rises lined a 99-acre stretch of the South Side. “The Hole” was the nickname given to three of the buildings which stood in a u shape at the south end of the development, at the intersection of 53rd and Federal streets.

“They called it ‘The Hole’ because once you got in, you couldn’t get out,” quipped Residents’ Journal’s Assistant Editor Beauty Turner, who lived in Robert Taylor for 16 years.
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