CHICAGO (CBS) — Faith Phoenix’s bruises are healed, but the beating she suffered seven months ago inside a public housing complex still stings. She’s still afraid of leaving her apartment, because her attacker till lives a few floors below.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes a look at the rules for evicting a tenant when the city is the landlord.
Phoenix likes to take herself back to a simpler time, the good old days, before she was homeless, before she was diagnosed with PTSD and depression.
“Life was easier. I was full of love and joy, and I had a family,” she said. “I’m trying to get back to being normal.”
Finding a Chicago Housing Authority apartment helped, until a recent visit to the building’s TV room changed everything, when another tenant in the building attacked her.
“All I remember is her punching me in the head,” Phoenix said. “There were three streams of blood pouring down my face and my neck and my shirt.”
The neighbor who attacked her pleaded guilty to battery, but was not evicted from their CHA building after her conviction.
“I finally got justice, and because of that I started to feel better, and as the months progressed, she’s still here,” Phoenix said.
CHA didn’t make Phoenix’s attacker leave, but apparently their legal team is working on the situation.
It’s been seven months since the attack, and the CHA said it’s taking steps to address the situation, but didn’t elaborate.
Fellow CHA tenant Carmen Betances said she’s also complained to the public housing agency to no avail about an inappropriate tenant in a different building.
“He is still my neighbor, and his behavior has not changed,” Betances said.
As a CHA senior advocate, she said she hears all sorts of stories about un-neighborly public housing residents.
“It is a common issue, as well as CHA not following its own rules,” she said.
What are the rules? CBS 2 asked the CHA to send a full standard lease twice, but the agency ignored the requests. Phoenix shared hers, which revealed the CHA has the authority to remove tenants who engage in criminal acts of physical violence.
Phoenix said she stays holed up inside for the most part now, waiting as the CHA says it is “handling this matter with proper care.”