Remembering Ms. Amey


CHA Board Commissioner and tenant Hallie Amey (center) with former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd Ward, from left), Cook County Commissioner John Daley and former CHA CEO Terry Peterson during a street naming ceremony in her honor on January 23, 2004. Residents' Journal archive photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Longtime public housing advocate Hallie Amey, 89, died Tuesday, July 19, 2011 from a long illness. Amey was first appointed a commissioner to the Chicago Housing Authority on July 7, 1999, by former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

She was reappointed by Daley on July 22, 2009. Amey, who was the president of the CHA Wentworth Gardens Resident Management Corporation, was also the secretary of the tenants’ Local Advisory Council at the South Side public housing development near U.S. Cellular Field.

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Food Deserts


Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

I moved from the Ida B. Wells homes to Wentworth Gardens in 2007. There’s a corner store and a gas station near Wentworth but no restaurants or large grocery stores. So the location is not ideal for a huge, more substantial grocery-shopping trip, which is needed from time to time. What the corner store and gas station do have is lots of unhealthy junk food, some loaves of bread and milk. They both do not have a lot of healthy choices to choose from.

I have to go a farther distance to shop for the necessary healthy foods that I have to eat. So, I am usually limited to unhealthy choices.
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Positive People

by  Editorial Assistant

Janice Patton

Janice Patton was a resident of the Robert Taylor Homes for 29 years and was relocated to the Prairie Parks Apartments with a Housing Choice Voucher. She’s resided there for four years.

Patton first moved to the development from Meridian, Mississippi. She describes the move as going from middle income to the ghetto and says it was a culture shock to see the way people lived. She says CHA tried but there was always a different commissioner.
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CHA Home Ownership: Wentworth Gardens


Just a few blocks south of Wentworth Gardens, located near Comiskey Park, is the Wentworth Gardens Annex. The annex is a 98 unit scattered-site development located at 43rd Street and Princeton Avenue. The units are being sold under the CHA’s home ownership program.

Built in 1969, the Wentworth Gardens Annex was originally built with the idea that the units could later be sold to residents. The houses consist of two three- and four-bedroom bungalows, duplexes and row houses. There are currently 26 homeowners. Two of the sales were completed this summer. Twenty-four of the units were previously sold to residents as early as 1987.

CHA’s Division of Development Initiatives, Homeownership Department, is working closely with residents to achieve the reality of being a homeowner, according to project manager Cecil Lawrence. Once a resident becomes interested in the process, he or she will find that CHA has a wide range of supportive services to assist them.

The residents participate in mandatory homebuyer counseling. The process starts with a pre-application. Among the things that must be taken into consideration are the homeowner’s ability to pay utilities (gas, lights, water) and maintenance of the property. Some people need money for a down payment and/or closing costs. Some applicants are advised that they should save some money for a while or do various other things to get prepared.

No individual starts the program until their report comes back saying that they are prepared to enter the homeownership program. There are currently four to five people participating in the counseling process and two applicants are in the process of obtaining a mortgage. The demonstration model of the annex, which is located on 42nd Place, is a three bedroom brick, fully carpeted duplex unit. The house has central air-conditioning, ceiling fan (kitchen), ceramic floor tiles and new furnace with built in humidifier.The houses will be sold thorugh 20 or 30 year mortgages. First priority is given to the Annex residents, other public housing residents and subsidized housing residents. The average cost of a three bedroom unit is about $32,500.

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