CHA's Transformation: "A tale of two cities"

“Midway through the Plan for Transformation, we have a tale of two cities. CHA families in new mixed-income communities now live in conditions indistinguishable from economically better off neighbors. That’s a major achievement that would have been considered impossible 20 years ago.

“At the same time, far too many public housing families live in environments virtually identical to those that triggered the $1.6 billion overhaul of public housing. That must change if Chicago is to uphold its promise to ‘rebuild’ the lives of all its public housing residents.”

– Hoy McConnell, executive director of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, which just released a “Mid-Course Report” on CHA’s Plan for Transformation. According to an article about the study published by Gazette Chicago, public housing projects that aren’t being converted to mixed-income communities continue to face high rates of crime and poverty, but residents at newer developments like Roosevelt Square “are doing very well and taking advantage of the area’s opportunities.”

The Plan for Transformation‘s mixed-income developments currently face five major challenges to success, according to BPI: a lack of retail and service establishments, poor public schools, a lack of data about residents’ access to services, an underdeveloped sense of community, and a lack of buyers filling the developments’ market-rate homes.

Roosevelt Square is only about 30 percent complete, the Gazette reports. Despite the lack of residential construction at Roosevelt Square in the past year, developer Related Midwest is moving forward with the construction of a new CVS/Pharmacy and other retail buildings.

Download the entire report in PDF format through BPI’s Web site.

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