It’s Wrong, It’s Discrimination; Click to Sign the Petition!

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Discrimination against housing voucher holders is wrong – just like any other form of discrimination. Please take a minute to sign our petition, and then call your commissioner to say: “I support source of income protections for Section 8 voucher holders”

If you don’t know your Cook County commissioner, you can call the cook county commissioners at 847-729-9300 to find out. PLEASE CALL TODAY!

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SOI Fact Sheet Final

HUD Subsidized Tenants Issues Forum

On March 31st HUD Subsidized tenants from all over the city gathered together for a forum to discuss issues in their buildings.  The goal of the Issues Forum was to identify problematic issues within HUD subsidized buildings in the city of Chicago and to move towards solutions.  MTO worked with organizers and tenants from various community organizations throughout the city such as STOP (Southside Together Organizing for Power), O.N.E. (Organization of the NorthEast) and Access Living along with the National Alliance of HUD Tenants to plan and implement the forum.

Around 30 tenants participated in breakout sessions, on topics including: Maintenance, Security, Recertification, REAC inspections, Reasonable Accommodation, and Organizing Concerns.  Tenants identified issues and formulated demands to bring to HUD in a series of accountability meetings.  Each breakout session developed a concrete list of policy changes and solutions to increase tenant participation in management decision making and to improve living conditions.

Drawing from the issues identified at the Issues Forum, tenants will bring their concerns to the local HUD office in a HUD Town Hall meeting in early summer.  Tenants will present documented problems and individual experiences on to local HUD officials and demand accountability from the local office.  Any issue or policy change that remains unresolved will then be presented in a second HUD accountability session called Eyes and Ears in the late summer or early fall.  The Metropolitan Tenants Organization with its tenant leadership aim to improve living conditions and preserve aging housing stock in HUD subsidized buildings.

 

President’s 2013 Proposed Budget Increases Rent for HUD-assisted Families

“Obama’s proposed hike to minimum rent for HUD-assisted families could put poorest in the street”

 

By YanaKunichoff – March 27 2012 – Community Renewal Society

 

A proposal in the 2013 presidential budget to raise the minimum rent in public housing could put the poorest families at risk of ending up on the street, say advocates.

And what may be most surprising for some people, Pres. Obama’s proposed hike is more than what’s being asked for by the Republicans. Plus, it pitted two local pols against each other over this issue in Washington.

John Bartlett, Executive Director of the Chicago-based Metropolitan Tenants Organization called the proposed increase, which would raise the minimum rent to $75 a month from $50 for all households assisted by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, “horrible.

“People can’t get back on their feet if they don’t have a home, and some of them will lose their home because of this,” said Barlett.

$75 may not sound like much, especially in Cook County, where the average price is $853 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

But the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that 19,602 Illinois families in project-based Section 8 housing, supportive housing and those using housing choice vouchers administered by HUD would be negatively impacted by the rent increase.

What’s more, Illinois would be hit harder than the national average: 14.11 percent of households relying on rent assistance here would face an increase, compared to 12.4 percent of households nationally.

“There has been a lot of pressure on discretionary programs in general,” said Barbara Sard, author of the Center’s report on the cuts.  “All of the low-income housing programs are part of the discretionary side of the budget.”

The problems of the recession on low-income people have been compounded by cuts to social programs, which have been accelerating since the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the November 2010 election, Sard added.

The proposal to raise the minimum rent in Section 8 housing originally came from the House, which proposed in October 2011 to raise the rent to 12 percent of the local Fair Market Rent, or to $69.45 a month and index it for inflation.

The leader of this push in the House was Republican Rep. Judy Biggert, Chair of the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, from the 13thCongressional District of Illinois, which is in the Southwestern suburbs. And one of the most vocal opponents of the bill was Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez from the 4th Congressional District west of downtown Chicago.

“Raising rents for the poorest of the poor. I just don’t know how this makes sense,” said Rep. Guttierrez, in a February discussion of the rent increase. He had offered an amendment in February to remove the provision from the budget, which he later withdrew.

In response, Rep. Biggert told the subcommittee that increasing the minimum rent for rent-assistance housing would lower the overall cost of the program and allow more people to receive help.

In the end, the difference between the proposal coming from Rep. Biggert–$69.45–and the increase proposed by President Obama–$75–was minimal.

But Sard noted that “for the first time ever the administration proposed an increase in a minimum rent to an even higher level than the Republicans had proposed.”

And when looking at assistance for the “very, very poor,” every penny counts, she said.

“Congress and the president have a lot of discretion as to picking winners and losers,” in the budget cuts, said Sard, and “housing programs are only a small side of the overall budget.”

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that, along with raising the minimum rent, the 2013 fiscal year budget is “at least $1.7 billion below the amount needed to fully renew rental assistance provided this year under HUD’s three major rental assistance programs.”

Barlett, from the Metropolitan Tenants Organization,  sees the proposed raise in the minimum rent as part of a larger attack on the poor.

“It’s more of a tax increase on the poor instead of taxing the billionaires.”

Original URL: http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-muckrakers/2012/03/obamas-proposed-hike-to-minimum-rent-for-hud-assisted-families-could-put-poorest-in-the-street/

 

 

“Subsidized Money Pit” – Chicago Reporter investigates

By: Angela Caputo / January 02, 2012
From the January/February 2012 issue of the Chicago Reporter, Subsidized Housing
Subsidizing failure

 

Mary Smith was living on a quiet Woodlawn block in 1978 when she got the news that she landed an apartment in one of the neighborhood’s first federally subsidized buildings. At the time, the golden-brick courtyard building at 6134 S. Kimbark Ave. was a bright spot in the neighborhood, which was struggling to regain its footing a decade after a spate of rioting that followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Smith was just shy of 30 but already knew something about rebuilding herself. After moving from Tennessee, she was adjusting to life as a single mother and a widow in Chicago.

Smith has a round face spotted with freckles and speaks with a lisp. Her voice rises when she talks about her family’s early days on Kimbark. “We were 100 units strong,” she said of her neighbors, some of whom still live on the block. “We were taking care of the place. We were gardening. We were thriving.”

But more than three decades later, the building on the corner of 62nd Street and Kimbark Avenue has become more a symbol of failure than hope.

The heat is chronically cut off in the building. In most units, radiator covers hang half-cocked from the walls so tenants have pulled couches and beds in front of the hot pipes to avoid getting scorched. Some have taken in cats to catch the mice. One elderly woman keeps a cooler in her den to catch the rainwater that pours through gaps in the ceiling that the building’s maintenance crew tried to patch up with a piece of plywood and duct tape.

After barely passing federal inspection standards in recent years, the Kimbark building, along with a handful of other neighboring, federally subsidized buildings owned by the same company, earned a failing score of 43 out of 100 points last year. That was 17 points shy of just scraping by. One more failed inspection, and the government could step in to foreclose on the property. It is also plausible that the property could be sold off and the subsidies lost.

For tenants and housing activists, the problems at Kimbark go deeper than brick and mortar. The decaying building is a symbol of how public officials have looked the other way as landlords throughout Chicago received more than a billion in federal housing subsidies during the past decade while running some of their properties into the ground and, in some cases, using the buildings as their own personal ATMs.

A Chicago Reporter review of federal and local housing records found that 27 out of 194 properties containing more than 24,000 nonsenior federally subsidized housing units in Chicago failed at least one inspection between 2008 and 2010. Of 93 landlords overseeing these properties, 22 have been hauled into housing court by city attorneys who are suing them for at least $304,000 worth of violations since 2005. Two landlords, in particular, were taken to housing court on 22 separate occasions and amassed one-third, or $102,000, of the fines levied against property owners during that period.

Few people have worked with as many troubled Section 8 buildings as Shirley Johnson, the organizing director of the Chicago-based Metropolitan Tenants Organization. In her eyes, federal and local housing officials are doing too little to hit landlords where it hurts: the pocketbook. “They slap ’em on the hand, and they’re right back in the game,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that tenants should have a seat at the negotiating table. “Safe and decent housing—that’s all the tenants want,” she said. “They don’t care who is the owner or the manager. They just want them to be accountable.”

But officials said that, with affordable housing in increasingly short supply, a hard-nosed approach isn’t always the best way to fix troubled buildings. “We really do look at preservation as our main focus,” said Ed Hinsberger, director of the Chicago multifamily hub at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who oversees subsidized multifamily buildings in Chicago.

Preserving the subsidies, Hinsberger said, means striking a delicate balance between holding building owners and managers accountable in the short term without leaning so hard that they decide to opt out of the program and sell the properties on the private market. “We try and figure out how to save a project, but it’s hard,” he said. “We don’t own it. We don’t control it. We can’t decide who it will go to. That’s beyond our authority.”

Still, critics said, the status quo that is tolerating too many substandard housing units must not be an option for HUD. That’s especially true, they said, considering that, with the widespread demolition of traditional public housing, the subsidized apartments represent the last bastion of stable housing for low-income families. More nonsenior apartments now exist in the 194 subsidized properties than those operated by the Chicago Housing Authority.

Jim Grow, an attorney with the National Housing Law Project, said poor performing owners and managers will have little incentive to improve until HUD takes a “more nuisanced approach” to dealing with troubled buildings. “You have to have a monitoring system that’s up for the task,” Grow said. “It’s a failure of the regulatory system to provide the money and not the quality.”

*     *     *

When Congress struck a deal in the early 1970s to begin pouring billions of dollars each year into subsidized housing, a group of young Chicago developers with an eye on rebuilding troubled neighborhoods began snapping up investments. Under the Section 8 agreements, they were guaranteed market-rate rents for up to 30 years. In exchange, they had to provide decent, safe housing for cash-strapped households.

The units are rented out on a first-come, first-served basis. To remain compliant, the landlords are required to submit annual financial reports and pass federal inspections, assessed on the safety and cleanliness of each property.

Experts point out that inspection scores are weighted, and common areas—like lobbies and grounds—can artificially boost scores or unfairly drag them down. Despite the limits, the inspections are one of the few benchmarks for measuring success. Until this fall, if landlords scored below 60 two years in a row, HUD had the power to push them into foreclosure. Under the new guideline, scoring between 30 and 59 puts the owners under increased scrutiny.

The Reporter analysis of federal data found that 30 of the 199 inspections recorded between 2008 and 2010 found failing conditions in Chicago, and 43 led to a score that was within five points of failing. This marked a nearly threefold increase in failing scores compared with the three prior years, when slightly more inspections were logged. While those scores should have raised red flags, HUD’s response has been lax. In 2009, for example, only two of the nine properties due for reinspection because of initial failing scores were scored that year.

HUD’s Hinsberger said he isn’t convinced that the failed inspections are the most accurate way of determining trends or even the overall health of Chicago’s portfolio. Some years, there are few inspections, he said, because budgets are tight. “Those inspections cost money,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t have the funds.”

Still, Grow said, officials could do more to bring troubled properties in line. HUD officials rarely put a financial squeeze on owners by gradually reducing subsidies to low-performing buildings, he said. And the agency should have a better policy for reviewing which owners are borrowing against their buildings. “Why should somebody be able to refinance and take out money without at least 70 [on their scores]?” Grow said.

Indeed, five out of 15 Chicago properties that have failed at least one federal inspection since 2008 were remortgaged within six years prior to failed inspection, a Reporter review of real estate records found.

“The system is set up so that the property is seen as a commodity, and the living conditions for residents are seen as secondary,” said Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a community organizer with Southside Together Organizing for Power, a nonprofit that has been working with tenants for years to improve conditions in a series of Section 8 buildings on the city’s South Side.

With many of the contracts coming to an end, the properties have become much more susceptible to forces in the private real estate market. Roughly a decade ago, Kevin Jackson, executive director at the Chicago Rehab Network, began sounding the alarm that Chicago was facing an “invisible crisis” as the subsidies tied to roughly 21,000 units were scheduled to expire between 2000 and 2005. When the real estate market took a nose dive, Jackson said, landlords began rethinking the value of the guaranteed subsidies and have shown “a heightened interest” in extending their contracts.

As far as Johnson of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization is concerned, if landlords want the guarantees that come along with extensions—including up to nearly $290 million in rents for 2011 alone—federal officials should be pushing harder for building improvements. “HUD has a lot of leverage,” she said. “That’s where these landlords are getting their rent.”

City attorneys, meanwhile, have stepped up enforcement on troubled Section 8 buildings in recent years, citing the owners for violations by hauling some of them into housing court.

The bottom line, said former Chicago Department of Housing Commissioner Jack Markowski, who is now president of the Community Investment Corporation, which controls a fund that helps stabilize troubled buildings including Section 8 properties, is that “the city often has used code enforcement as a way to go after bad management.”

At least 31 properties have been sued by the city in housing court since 2005. A vast majority, or 75 percent, of the cases were filed between 2008 and 2011. Some of the cases involve fairly minor violations, such as doing construction without a permit and painting over electrical switches. Others are more serious. They include structurally unsound porches, missing smoke detectors and no heat or hot water in winter.

More than one-third of the housing court cases involve just two companies—East Lake Management and Development Corporation and the Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2—which have racked up a combined $102,000 in fines. The number of fines attributed to East Lake, which is run by Elzie Higginbottom, is in part because the company oversees more Section 8 units—3,094 apartments in all—than any other entity. The company also manages a wide portfolio, which, like the Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2’s parent company, includes Chicago Housing Authority properties.

Eileen Rhodes, vice president at East Lake, pointed out that the management company’s buildings have been given few failing scores on federal inspections—three in 78 inspections—in the past decade. “I think that the [federal inspections] are an indicator that the properties are in good shape,” she said.

Ironically, some of those troubled buildings surpassed expectations when it came to federal inspections. The Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2, for example, was given a passing grade in 2009 at the same time it was being sued by the city for building code violations that included rodent infestation, mold and standing sewage.

*     *     *

The three-story building at 6134 S. Kimbark Ave. doesn’t look like much from the curb. Its golden-brick facade is dulled by the fine lines of age. A black wrought-iron fence rings a lawn that’s spotted with ashy patches of dirt.

The initial federal investment in the property—HUD had agreed to lock into 30 years of rent subsidies in 1974—was a sign that redevelopment was possible in the struggling Woodlawn community. For a young community organizer, Leon Finney Jr., the federal money was like a down payment on a local development initiative he called “The Dream Plan.”

Finney grew up in the neighborhood and was a rising star in the scrappy nonprofit, The Woodlawn Organization. With the community organizing skills imparted on him by the famed Saul Alinsky, his goal was to channel his neighbors’ desires—for decent housing and jobs—into action. That was The Dream Plan. And housing was key.

More than 30 years after the Section 8 program began, no section of the city was eligible for more rent subsidies last year than 60637, the ZIP code that includes Woodlawn and neighboring Washington Park. More than one in every $10 committed to Section 8 rents went to the 3,126 apartments in the area roughly bounded by State Street, Lake Shore Drive, and 51st and 73rd streets.

No Section 8 property has faced more recent scrutiny for how it has been managed than the Kimbark buildings, which are owned by the Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2, an entity set up by Finney, and managed by the Woodlawn Community Development Corp., which oversees 902 Section 8 units throughout the city.

In late November, the city filed two fresh lawsuits against the nonprofit because the heat wasn’t working consistently for three weeks. Since 2008, the city has initiated eight additional legal cases concerning the cluster of buildings, which is anchored by the Kimbark building. All told, the city has sued the Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2 for $57,755 in fines related to the Kimbark portfolio since 2008. The nonprofit faces another $140,685 in housing court fines for a string of unrelated, but troubled, rental buildings that are in foreclosure.

In December, city officials signaled that they were fed up with the ongoing disrepair at Kimbark. The Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. No. 2 was added to a list of “building code scofflaws” who have failed to address scores of code violations in the past year. Finney has pledged to get his organization’s name removed from the list to avoid losing city contracts.

“In most other jurisdictions, HUD would have said, ‘You’re done,’” said Kate Walz, housing justice director at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Walz has represented the Kimbark Tenants Association, which is co-chaired by Smith, in court in the past couple of years. “Chicago’s HUD office is looking at preservation. Otherwise, only tenants will suffer.”

A Reporter review of the management company’s financial records found that the building’s poor conditions have only been exacerbated by the nonprofit’s financial practices. In 2006, the property was refinanced, but few needed repairs were made with the money. Then, in 2009, more than $163,000 was transferred out of the property to cover unrelated expenses including payroll and bank overdrafts, the records show. The next year, federal inspectors found the buildings in such disrepair that they were given a failing score.

Finney rejected that the conditions at Kimbark are a reflection on his nonprofit’s property management skills. “Are you going to define me by that one property?” he said. “I have been there and done whatever needed to be done to make life well and function for not only them but for literally thousands of other people. So I just reject the idea of that.”

HUD has “some financial concerns” about how Kimbark and some other Section 8 properties are being managed by the Woodlawn Community Development Corp., according to Hinsberger. The agency has chided Finney in recent years for dipping into restricted housing subsidies to cover payroll and other expenses—some of which are tied to its sister agency, The Woodlawn Organization, independent audit reports show.

But it’s translated into little change for tenants who have learned to live with the substandard conditions.

For the second time in four years, Finney is attempting to sell the property, and he’s close to sealing the deal. If this deal goes through, the federal subsidy will be extended until 2029. Cullen Davis, whose company, Urban Property Investments, manages a series of other Section 8 properties, along with a partner, is expected to take the property over in January. The Illinois Housing Development Authority has approved $10 million in tax credits to begin rehabbing the Kimbark building. That’s money that the Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. was not eligible for because of its poor property management track record.

The hope is that the new owners will do a better job at managing the federal subsidies, which should pump up to nearly $1.3 million in rents into the 100-unit development next year. Poor conditions have led to vacancies, though. About one-third of the 100 units sit empty.

The way Smith sees it, she’s faced with two bad choices: Stay at Kimbark and hope conditions improve under the new ownership or live with the chaos.

“I don’t want to leave this community,” said Smith, now 62 and retired. “I want to have a place where my kids can come back to and say, ‘I grew up here,’ so they feel like they have some roots.”

Emily Gowing and Sachiko Yoshitsugu helped research this article.  

Original article

Photo: Mary Smith flips through her datebook, recalling a three-week period in the fall when the heat in her Woodlawn apartment building wasn’t working because of a broken boiler. Photo by Marc Monaghan.

Source of Income Protection for Section 8 Voucher Holders

The Cook County Human Rights Ordinance protects individuals from discrimination based on their income (such as child support, social security) however, it specifically does not include protections for people with Section 8 housing vouchers.

With the ordinance as it stands, housing providers can and do deny qualified households solely because they have a Section 8 voucher.  Studies have proven that housing providers refuse to rent to voucher holders as a pretext for other types of illegal discrimination based on race, familial status, and disability.

MTO supports the proposed ordinance amendment that would include protection for individuals with Section 8 vouchers.  Property owners would still have the right to screen applicants.

The city of Chicago and six other municipalities in Illinois, ten states, the District of Columbia, and ten counties across the country have laws in place that protect individuals from discrimination based on using Housing Choice vouchers.

Voucher holders are some of the most scrutinized tenants and have to meet the rigorous criteria of the voucher administrator as well as comply with lease provisions. Nearly 40% of voucher recipients are employed and more than 30% are seniors or persons with disabilities. There is absolutely no evidence that persons who use Housing Choice Vouchers to make their housing affordable perpetuate or increase crime in communities.

Landlord participation in the voucher program is not unduly burdensome. Landlords only have to complete three simple forms. Payments made by the housing authority are made electronically. Units must pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection. Voucher recipients have to complete most of the paperwork.

By supporting this amendment to the CCHRO, the last remaining type of source of income discrimination in Cook County can finally end.

For more reading, check out this research article which found no evidence that voucher holder households increase crime in neighborhoods.

SOIFAQsFinal

SOI Talking Points Final

Region 5 HUD Bed Bug Memo

Metropolitan Tenants Organization, in partnership with Region 5 HUD, Georgia HAP, Shriver Center, Community Investment Corporation, and several other agencies and community organizations, is happy to announce the completion of our guidelines memo on the best practices of bed bug control. Region 5 HUD distributed this memo to all Region 5 HUD property owners and agents in March 2011. Members of this partnership conducted much research on the best practices of bed bug control and on already existing HUD policy on general pest control to create this document.

This guidelines memo was written largely in part in response to the bad practices that have been employed by both landlords and tenants in efforts to rid their properties of infestations. Due to the dramatic spike in the frequency of calls to the Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s Tenants Rights’ Hotline regarding bed bugs, it came to the attention of MTO that there is not much awareness nor are there many protections available to renters who deal with bed bug infestations in Chicago. Since then, MTO has worked diligently to ensure that there will be more education around the issue and more protections available to renters.
MTO convened this roundtable of partners in response to these bad practices in efforts to inform renters, landlords, and private homeowners on how to eradicate bed bugs in the most safe, effective, and economical ways. Many initiatives were discussed, including an educational campaign for both renters and landlords on how to effectively deal with bed bugs and an initiative to prevent the spread of infestations by properly marking or destroying infested mattresses and other pieces of furniture that have been disposed of in alleys, in addition to the memo/policy on the use of best practices in bed bug control.
The initial goal of the roundtable was to create a Region 5 HUD bed bug policy to be distributed to all HUD property owners and agents in the region. As it turned out, federal agencies do not have the jurisdiction to write and enforce policy at the regional level. As an alternative, the roundtable decided to go ahead with writing the document as a guidance memo to Region 5 HUD owners and agents. Click here to read the document in full. The roundtable will next work on getting national HUD to create and enforce a bed bug policy on the national level.

HUD Bed Bug Memo

When Bed Bugs Attack

Bed bugs have returned, invading our hospitals, hotels, public transportation, and most unsettling of all, our homes. While bed bugs do not transmit disease, bed bugs have proven to be a serious nuisance to homeowners and renters alike, across the nation.

While New York City leads the nation in reported incidents of bed bug infestations, according to an August 2010 report released by Terminix, the Windy City does not find itself far behind – we live in the fifth most bed bug infested city in the U.S. MTO can certainly attest to this, as hotline calls pertaining to bed bugs have increased dramatically in the last two years. In 2010, MTO received 313, usually very frantic, calls with complaints of bed bugs. Two years ago, bed bug calls to MTO’s hotline were nonexistent.

In response to this sudden reemergence of bed bugs in Chicago, MTO has led efforts to create a roundtable of representatives from HUD, EPA, Chicago Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, and other invested agencies and community organizations. MTO is actively working with this group on creating a policy proposal for HUD subsidized buildings. Among other recommendations,  MTO has proposed the following to be included in a HUD policy on bed bugs:

-Landlords should disclose any known bed bug infestations within the previous 12 months to prospective renters,

-HUD should support an initiative for an educational campaign on bed bugs and pest control,

-Landlords should hire certified/licensed pest control professionals for both bed bug inspections and treatments,

-Landlords should encourage tenant notification of bed bug sightings by never retaliating against tenants (e.g. imposing fees, threatening eviction, etc),

-and HUD should allocate a long term source of funding to help landlords and renters combat bed bug infestations.

MTO is working on the bed bug issue at the state level as well. Meron Kahssai, an MTO Healthy Homes Organizer, has been appointed to the Illinois Subcommittee on Bed Bugs, a subcommittee of the Illinois Structural Pest Control Advisory Council. MTO will serve on this subcommittee as the voice of renters and will provide the necessary insight on the plight of renters to the other members of the state’s bed bug subcommittee. The goal of this subcommittee is to create a report with recommendations to the IL General Assembly on the prevention, management, and control of bed bugs which include recommendations on an educational campaign, proper transport and disposal of bed bug infested materials, and best practices of treatment and eradication.

Tenants who have dealt with bed bugs are encouraged to join MTO’s bed bug committee. This committee is open to anyone who is interested in serving the need of renters affected by bed bugs by pushing policies for both subsidized and market rate renters. Please contact Meron Kahssai at 773-292-4980 ext. 229, if interested.

Bed bugs will be the topic of discussion at the January 20th Tenant Congress meeting at the Chicago Urban League (4510 S. Michigan). Following a presentation on bed bugs, the floor will be open for a question and answer session. This meeting is open to the public.

Affordable Housing Lottery: Apply Now

The Chicago Housing Authority is accepting applications for tenants who are in need of affordable housing.

Applications will be accepted from June 14, 2010 to July 9, 2010.  Of all applications received, CHA will randomly pull 40,000 names from the list.  These 40,000 applicants will then be placed on the Family Wait List.  If you are put on the Family Wait List, you will be contacted when a subsidized unit is available.  If you are eligible to recieve the subsidy, you will then be able to move into an apartment and your rent will be affordable based on your income.

We all know that affordable housing is hard to find, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to get on the list.

For more information about eligibility, applying, or CHA guidelines, go to CHAwaitlist.org

Testify about Your Experience as a HUD Subsidized Renter

Wednesday, June 30th will be your chance to voice your concerns to Mr. Ed Hinsberger, Chicago Multifamily HUD Director, and Mr. George Gilmore, HUD Neighborhood Coordinator.

HUD Subsidized Renters are invited to attend a HUD Townhall Meeting. This meeting is for property-based Section 8 Chicago HUD Subsidized tenants only.

When: Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Time:   1:00pm till 3:00pm
Where: Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave

The Metropolitan Tenants Organization along with Access Living are providing tenants of subsidized housing a platform to address their concerns regarding maintenance and management of HUD subsidized buildings.

For more information please contact:

Metropolitan Tenants Organization
Farid Muhammad
773.292.4980 x 236
faridm@tenants-rights.org

or

Access Living
Deidre Brewster
312.640.2100 x 132