Activists accuse CHA of violating Fair Housing Act

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The Chicago Housing Authority will hold its annual meeting Tuesday morning.

On the agenda, two proposals to sell or swap land that was once the site of public housing.
Some Bronzeville community activist say those proposals are in a effect using taxpayer dollars to replace people.

At 51st and State Street, the land was once part of the sprawling Robert Taylor Housing Project is now slated for sale to a private developer who wants to build a recreational facility and other commercial development.

“This is a planned way to displace blacks using taxpayer dollars.  That’s not acceptable,” said Roderick Wilson, Executive Director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.

The group held a quiet protest Monday morning outside the CHA headquarters on East Van Buren Street.

Wilson said CHA demolished 4,400 units of public housing at Robert Taylor, but by his estimation has only replaced 300 of the 800 units promised.

Wilson is also concerned about the plan to swap property at 22nd and State Street that was once home to the Harold Ickes Homes with the city of Chicago so the CTA can build a Green Line stop at Cermak.

Again, Wilson claims CHA has not plan for replacement housing there either.  “We believe it’s a violation of the Fair Housing Act.  They have thousands of vacancies that they’re not leasing up, there are Section 8 vouchers that they’re not giving out.  So then what’s happening with the people most vulnerable in our community, which are mainly black people?” said Wilson.
In a statement, CHA officials point out the 51st and State Street development would be sold at market value and is being bought by a non-profit organization that provides after-school programming.  The site at Cermak and State Street is being swapped out for land by Near North high school for mixed-used and mixed development.

CHA says there will be sufficient land to allow for housing development and for residents who have the right to return.

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  • The MIx

    Get a job and buy a home. 4,400 new property owners would help the city instead of depending on government to fund your activities. If I were mayor of Chicago there would be no Section 8, and the CHA would be a thing of the past, period.

  • Keisha

    Cha is a thing in the past for a lot of people. Some people need help paying for housing it is what it is. I wouldn't punish everybody for a couple people who don't want to do right. Cha isn't building affordable housing either. The crime is so bad now because they dispersed all those people and the crime followed. I didn't realize how segregated Chicago, IL was until I moved to Minneapolis, MN. I should have never came back to Chicago. Chicago has the most corrupt politicians ever. The city is fallen apart by all the gun violence we have been having lately. The Chicago Housing Authority tore down all those projects and displaced all those people thinking they were going to get the Olympics but didn't. So now instead of having crime in one area it's all over the city now. God don't like ugly and he ain't too fond of pretty. The city unlike Minneapolis do not take care of it's people when we need it. The cost of living keep going up yet the crime isn't going down. The transit authority(CTA) are raising their prices and service sucks. The segregation is crazy. It's like it's 1955 here in Chicago.

  • Michael

    Cha got over 85,000 people on their Scattered site, Family housing, Senior housing, and their Section 8 waitlists. Cha got over 35,000 empty unit's that they continue to accept funds for. Cha needs to do their jobs and house people. There are too many people in the shelters and on the streets for cha to be doing this.

    They also got HUD on their backs and cha suppose to be doing away with the 1/3rd which is good. We need more low income apts.