CHICAGO (CBS) — South Side residents expressed frustration Thursday with the pace of replacing public housing that was torn down at the site of what will become a Mariano’s grocery store in Bronzeville.
Members of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization protested at the northeast corner of Pershing Road and King Drive, the former home of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ida B. Wells housing development.READ MORE: Over 18,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
While they said there’s need for a new grocery store in the area, there’s greater need to replace public housing that has been torn down over the past 16 years.
“We need a grocery store in this part of town, but it shouldn’t steal land away from the people who have been promised a home,” said 73-year-old Frances Banks.
The CHA began tearing down the Ida B. Wells Homes in 1999, and were given three alternatives for replacement housing until new mixed income homes replaced the complex. The nearby Clarence Darrow and Madden Park housing developments also were taken down during that time, and the last Ida B. Wells high-rise was razed in 2011.
Since then, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) executive director Juwanza Malone said residents have been given “no sense of what’s going to happen.”
“All we know is that housing was torn down, a promise was made to bring it back, that promise has not been kept, and land keeps disappearing,” he said.