Tenants living in buildings owned by the Better Housing Foundation continue to experience uncertainty even as the City of Chicago building court system attempts to make rulings intended to improve their housing via appointment of limited receivers. Despite these decisions, sometimes tenant concerns can get lost in the shuffle. One such family – the Finkle’s – reached out to Amy de la Fuente, one of MTO’s court advocates, about mold, mushrooms and water damage in their unit. Mrs. Finkle hear about MTO when her neighbor attended building court the previous month After speaking with Amy, Mrs. Finkle asked her son to email photos of the unit conditions to Amy, who in turn shared the photos with the program officer from CIC in charge of the building. Mrs. Finkle, who is wheelchair bound, also encouraged her son to attend court on her behalf to speak about the conditions.
Young Mr. Finkle, who suffers from asthma, attended court. He met with Amy and prepared his talking points. When the judge called his building, he and several neighbors from the building stepped forward to ask questions and express their concerns. With Amy by his side, Mr. Finkle advocated to safe, decent and healthy housing for himself and his mother. The judge, city attorney and program officer all listened and asked questions. The judge granted the temporary receiver authorization to make repairs related to water damage and to relocate tenants as necessary. As he left the courtroom, Mr. Finkle turned to Amy, shook her hand and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
MTO and their partner agency, the Community Investment Corporation, have worked diligently for the past nine months to help preserve affordable housing and keeps tenants stably housed in over 75 Better Housing Foundation buildings. Their work, coupled with strong tenant advocacy, like that of the Finkle family, has led to positive outcomes for residents living in these buildings.