Homeless individuals who live under Lake Shore Drive viaducts on Chicago's North Side met Monday morning with city officials to discuss a new pilot program that will provide them with housing and support services.
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler and North Side Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th) were at the meeting, held at Weiss Memorial Hospital. Also in attendance were various homeless advocates, service providers and community members.
At issue was a city pilot program, announced late last month, aimed at placing 75 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. The homeless individuals live in tent encampments, also known as tent cities, under viaducts near Lake Shore Drive at Irving Park Road and Foster, Lawrence and Wilson Avenues.
Chicago's Community Development Commission (CDC) unanimously approved a controversial plan Tuesday to provide a $15.8 million tax increment financing (TIF) subsidy for an upscale apartment complex in Uptown, despite opposition from some local low-income housing advocates.
The $125 million luxury housing development, proposed for the former Columbus Maryville Academy site near the city's lakefront, still needs Chicago City Council approval.
A group of about 30 community activists spoke against the proposal outside of City Hall's council chambers before attending the CDC meeting. The protesters toted signs reading, "No Public Funds For Private Profit." They saw support from Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey and TIF activist Tom Tresser.
"I stand with my Uptown neighbors ... to demand that Mayor Emanuel's rubber stamp not be used one more time by the Community Development Commission to rob the taxpayers of Chicago and send millions of public dollars into private pockets," Tresser, with the TIF Illumination Project, said during public comment at the CDC meeting.
Chicago seniors living in three affordable housing buildings sued their landlord Presbyterian Homes on Friday over its plan to sell the properties and force out residents next year.
Residents of the three subsidized-rent senior apartment buildings, operated by Evanston-based Presbyterian Homes, filed a class action lawsuit Friday in Cook County Circuit Court in an effort to prevent their "lifetime leases" at the properties from being broken.
Over 100 residents at the three independent living facilities on Chicago's North Side -- Crowder Place, Devon Place and Mulvey Place, which are known collectively as the Neighborhood Homes -- were notified by Presbyterian Homes in mid-August that the buildings would be sold, reportedly to a market-rate developer, due to financial reasons and residents would have to move out by November 2016.
Illinois "Moral Monday" activists protested for a "fair and just" state budget in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and outside the Lincoln Park home of a top campaign donor for Gov. Bruce Rauner. Progress Illinois was there for the Monday evening demonstration.