Housing Activists Take Action: An Update


This update will provide useful information together with insights into issues that draw the attention of housing activists citywide. I recently took another look at the Chicago Landlords and Tenants Ordinance to see what it was meant to do, exactly.

Really, it is not often possible for those of us lacking specific training to penetrate the sometimes obscure pathways of professional jargon, or language that seems to make more of an effort to conceal information than to reveal it.

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Razing the Brooks Extension


“I can just slip on a pair of slippers and walk across the street to the store.”

“Overjoyed is how I feel due to the fact that we have clean and modern laundry facilities. I like that I’m on a lower floor in a cleaner, spacious unit.”

These are just some of the views expressed by former residents of the last two buildings of the Robert Brooks Extensions as the wrecking ball slowly knocks down pieces of many memories. These residents were moved into the relocation building at 1440 W. 13th St.
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Section 8 Update


The Section 8 waiting list re-opened this past July. Applications were made available at all city public libraries as well as in community agencies.

In the two weeks of July in which the waiting list was open, 104,000 applications were received, of which 20,000 were rejected because they were incomplete or duplicates.

In anticipation of an enormously successful campaign, the plan was to select 25,000 applicants for the waiting list using a lottery.

The CHA was so impressed by the response that they decided to increase the original number of applicants for the waiting list by 10,000 to bring the number from 25,000 to 35,000.

Already 2,000 persons have been called for preliminary interviews from this new list.

The program offers applicants the opportunity to choose a community to live where they believe their family would be in a safer environment, where their children would receive a better education and where parents may find improved job opportunities.

In the past the Section 8 program was poorly managed and encountered many problems. Two years ago, the program was turned over to CHAC, Inc., a nationally recognized housing management firm known for its dependability and professionalism and as a result the program was stabilized.

An added benefit is that landlords are now seeking to become part of the program.

Scattered Sites

The Habitat Company has constructed more than 1,300 new scattered site housing units. These units are intended to blend in with the communities in which they are built.

The units are attractive, spacious, similar in height to surrounding buildings and have wrought iron fences to discourage unwanted visitors.

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