Receives Comments On Public Housing Plan
A draft plan that will
transform the public housing in Chicago is now before resident leaders and
elected officials. Public comments are now being garnered before the $1.5
billion plan will be submitted to the Federal Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) for approval on December 1 of this year. The plan
will transform public housing developments in Chicago from isolated
pockets of poverty into new and rebuilt mixed-income communities aimed at
fostering economic independence for its residents.
The Chicago Housing Authority
Plan for Transformation: Improving Public Housing and the Quality of Life
for Its Residents will produce more than 24,000 new or rehabbed CHA units
on the site of existing public housing developments, enough to accommodate
all current, lease-compliant CHA residents who want to remain in public
The change is needed because
the public housing, much of it obsolete and plagued with crime and drugs,
has a large concentration of extremely poor families. Faced with excessive
overhead costs, there are limited capital funds to meet needs. Management
is poor, and residents programs are duplicative, poorly coordinated and
without substantive performance measures and outcomes. In addition to
these problems are new federal regulations that threaten to put Chicago
back on the “troubled” list.
A total of 17,000 public
housing units will be demolished over the next five years, including all
open, gallery-style high rises. Less than half of the units slated for
demolition are occupied and, during redevelopment, all lease-compliant CHA
families can choose between new or rehabbed on-site housing or Section 8
housing. After redevelopment, they will be given first preference in
returning to their current public housing developments.
The properties that will be
torn down include the 32 high-rise buildings of the Robert Taylor Homes
and Stateway Gardens on the city’s South Side and the eight buildings of
the Cabrini-Green project on the West Side.