CHICAGO (CBS) — Imagine getting only two days’ notice from the Chicago Housing Authority to vacate your apartment before they begin renovating the building. That’s what happened to seniors living at Judge Fisher Apartments in Edgewater last year, and now aldermen have approved an ordinance designed to prevent that from happening to other seniors.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure that lays out several deadlines building owners who receive public funds would have to meet before relocating tenants in senior buildings.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) proposed the “Chicago Relocation Plan Ordinance” after residents at Judge Fisher Apartments in Edgewater complained about how the CHA handled plans to relocate them last year to make way for renovations.
Tenants said they were told about the move last July, so they packed up their belongings, but movers didn’t show up until December.
Among the requirements of the new ordinance would be face-to-face meetings with each household to come up with a moving plan, providing seniors with a walk-through of their new apartment before a move, appointment of a designated relocation coordinator, and regular meetings with tenants during construction.
Deadlines would include a 120-day notice before beginning relocations, 90-day notice of specific plans for a move, 30 days notice of a precise moving date, and 14 days notice of any change to a relocation date.
Developers also would have to offer free packing and unpacking assistance for buildings where more than 75 percent of tenants are seniors; reimburse tenants for moving costs; and make every effort to provide every tenant with a new apartment in the renovated building, or as close to that location as possible.
Any developer who doesn’t meet the new requirements would risk daily fines of up to $500, and loss of their public subsidies.