Tenants from the building located at 3045 W 63rd St. call the MTO because their building was in horrible condition and they were not going to take it anymore. When the MTO organizers arrived at the building the first thing that that they noticed was there was no heat in the building along with security problems such as, locks not working on entrance doors. Tenants highlighted other problems such as pests (roaches, mice and rats), doors and door frame problems going into apartments, leaky pipes among other issues in the building.
The tenants organized a tenants association. A group of them called 311 (the City’s complaint number) and asked for reference numbers. Several tenants also wrote out 24 hour letters concerning the heat problem. On December 10th organizers sent letters via certified mail to the Management Company, contacted a City of Chicago Building Attorney and contacted a Community Investment Corporation Program Officer in charge of the Trouble Building Initiative.
Two days later City Inspectors toured the building and found the building to be in non compliance with City code. That same day the Management Company sent repair people to the property and the heat was turned back on around midnight and an open window in a common area was boarded up.
After their victory the tenants are inspired to keep organizing. MTO organizers are working with the tenants association to fix the rest of the problems. Tenants learned about their renters’ rights and now they are writing 14 day letters concerning conditions and repairs. Their next meeting is set for January 4 at the Southwest Youth Collaborative.
Summary Prepared by Robert Clack