Reporting Mike Krauser
CHICAGO (CBS) – About 500 residents of a low-income housing development in Glen Ellyn have been told their apartments are part of a proposed TIF district, and they should reasonably expect to be displaced.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports many of the residents of the Parkside and Park Plaza apartments are refugees from places like Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
They have produced a YouTube video as they seek outside support. It’s about their community and its people.
“Nobody wants to be taken away from a place they love to live in,” Wheaton College student Irving Ruiz said in the video.
Ruiz has lived in the apartments all his life.
“The possibility of all these people having to move out is kind of sad; the culture, the backgrounds, the memories, the history that all these people have – their journeys here,” he said.
Ben Lowe said residents got a letter warning them of a proposed development that might result in them being forced out. He said, at a meeting Monday night, residents got no answers from village officials about what would happen with the apartment buildings.
“A lot of our community are made up of refugees and immigrants from all around the world. They’ve been displaced at least once from their countries by war, persecution and other disasters,” Lowe said. “It would be really, really hard for us to be displaced again,” Lowe said.
According to Lowe, one girl who is a refugee from Liberia stood up at the meeting and asked, “if you make me leave my home, will you give me a new home?”
The answer, he said, was “we can’t make any assurances.”
The Glen Ellyn Village Manager’s office did not return calls for comment early Tuesday afternoon.
Lowe and other residents of the apartment complexes said, while Glen Ellyn has more than the required amount of affordable housing, there’s a big difference between what’s legally affordable, and what low-income families can actually afford.
He also said, if 500 people are forced out of their homes, they’ll have a very difficult time finding somewhere else to live in Glen Ellyn.