CHICAGO (CBS)–Fed up with a lack of protection for seniors who live in Chicago Public Housing -controlled dwellings, North Side Alderman Harry Osterman (48th Ward) is unveiling an ordinance that would give the elderly more control over their homes.
Osterman’s ordinance takes aim at the Chicago Housing Authority, under fire for failing to give some residents adequate notice for moving out.
Next week, with the support of Osterman, seniors will hold a demonstration at City Hall to demand the city provide a mandatory 90-day notice period that would apply to seniors being asked to move.
The current law allows the CHA to ask tenants to move at any time, and with little notice, said Kelly Viselman of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus.
“For any senior, a move is a big deal, and it should be taken with care–and that’s not what happen(s),” Viselman said.
That was the case for neighbors Anita Patterson and Frank Hill. The CHA recently renovated their units at Judge Fisher Apartments in Edgewater.
The CHA told them to move in July, so they packed up all their possessions.
Patterson describes the experience as a “nightmare,” because the movers didn’t show up until December.
“I couldn’t get through,” she said, adding the experience felt like an eviction. “It was hard on me walking around my apartment–it was a disaster.”
Viselman described the CHA’s treatment as unacceptable.
“Unfortunately, they’re not the only tenants who’ve experienced this,” Viselman said.
“CHA takes any inconvenience to residents seriously and works hard to ensure impact is minimal,” said CHA spokesman Matthew Aguilar.
Aguilar said CHA protocol calls for residents to receive 90-day notices for large renovation projects, and 30-day notices when the agency relocates tenants.
Osterman’s proposed ordinance would protect seniors from similar situations by giving them at least three months to gather their belongings and leave their apartments, among other considerations.