Lathrop Homes residents fighting to stay

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CHICAGO -- Public housing residents and advocates are intensifying their fight to preserve Chicago's Lathrop Homes development.

They want to make sure low-income tenants aren't squeezed out by gentrification.

Protesters are demanding that city leaders promise to force the developers to include affordable housing in the plan.

But they say the city is keeping them in the dark about the plan, and a handful of them spent 24 hours in one of the units to draw attention to the issue.

The Lathrop Homes sit along the north branch of the Chicago River and have fallen into disrepair.

Right now, many of the units scattered across 31 Lathrop Homes buildings are boarded up,  and fewer than 140 units are occupied.

Last week, the Chicgao City Council approved a developer’s plan to build more than 1,000 units and bring retail space to the property.

The redevelopment would set aside less than half of the units for low-income residents.

Under the redevelopment plan, some buildings would be rehabbed, but the plan would bring new construction too.

The protesters say the plan penalizes the poor and displaces hundreds of people by taking away 525 low-income units and replacing them with market-rate homes.

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno says the developer has committed to bringing affordable housing to the site, but the protesters remain skeptical of the plan.