Eugene Jones, acting CEO at the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), is facing some criticism after recently describing the proposed "Keeping the Promise Ordinance" as a "waste of time."
The proposed Chicago ordinance is aimed at providing the city council with greater oversight of the CHA.
Jones commented on the Keeping the Promise Ordinance last week at a Near North Unity Program meeting.
"They want to put an ordinance on me and demand me to report to the city council. I don't think that's right. I don't think that's fair. I just think it's a waste of time," Jones said at the meeting, reported DNAinfo Chicago.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) is a co-sponsor of the Keeping the Promise Ordinance.
In a statement responding to Jones' remarks, the alderman noted that "without oversight, there is no accountability."
"Calling taxpayer oversight and accountability a 'waste of time' is what got Mr. Jones into trouble at Toronto's Community Housing Authority," Waguespack added. "I hope he and the CHA reconsider their opinion on the oversight ordinance."
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who also supports the Keeping the Promise Ordinance, told the news site that Jones should more thoroughly explain his position on the proposal.
"If he don't articulate why he said that, I think that's bad. I think he needs to articulate why he said that," Burnett said.
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) re-introduced the Keeping the Promise Ordinance in July. Moreno first introduced the ordinance last September after a fiscal review by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability showed that the CHA had recently amassed some $432 million in reserves, primarily by socking away millions in federal funds intended for housing vouchers.
Under the Keeping the Promise Ordinance, the CHA would have to provide the council with quarterly reports on, among other things, vacant and offline housing, its voucher utilization rate and progress building replacement public housing.
The CHA would also have to increase the number of annual available housing vouchers and meet voucher funding utilization benchmarks. Additionally, the measure would require one-for-one replacement of standing low-income housing units that go into redevelopment.