Monday, April 21, 2008

Recent Comment Of The Day From YoChicago

"Uptown and Edgewater are definitely having a problem with high-rise low-income housing broken up into small units. The only thing that will EVENTUALLY start to limit this type of housing stock is that these types of buildings are VERY expensive to maintain in the long run. You can see what high-rise condos and co-ops charge for monthly assessments, and all of the Low Income Housing Tax Credits and HUD subsidies can't keep up. The buildings will eventually deteriorate, become a public hazard, and be raised, though it will take decades. In fact, that Gill Park Cooperative in Lakeview looks like it may be ending it's useful life without a multi-million dollar re-hab soon. That building is a firetrap nightmare with a crumbling facade. Most condo buildings can't even keep up with those types of repairs without socking their owners with huge special assessments."
UptownR, identifying some inauspicious trends in the North Side housing stock

Anyone wanna bet the Gill Park Co-Op (pictured above) sits charred for years? We were just past this building several days ago, can anyone confirm that it still not repaired?


  1. And yet, in the case of Wilson Yard, we keep building them. Amazing.

  2. Got to keep the activists happy and they are only happy when their political base of low income voters are packed like sardines into a small controllable area.

    No assimillation. They must keep the haves and have nots divided and play the hate card. It's all about control.

  3. I just found out that two of the eight units at the scatter-site CHA building on the 4600 block of Winthrop are vacant. Why?

    Neighborhood rumors have it that they're too badly damaged to rent and the management company has no money to fix them up. So they remain empty, when there are lots of people who could use the housing.

    This is far from an indictment of CHA residents. My neighbors are good people. The ones they evicted from the units were not, obviously.

    Here's my point: Why are we wasting millions of dollars to build high-rise low-income housing just a couple blocks away -- $450K for a family unit! -- when there are badly damaged, already existing, EMPTY family units just around the corner?

  4. Who holds the Chicago Dept of Housing responsible for wasteful spending? These Project Section 8 highrise buildings make no financial sense. That is why HUD unloads these buildings as soon as they reach a certain age.

    So, why does the city rush in to fund these financial money pits when it makes more sense to rennovate or build new units elsewhere? Who holds the city accountable for wasteful spending of affordable housing dollars?

    Who will pay for the fire damage on this project Section 8building? Is a city bailout forthcoming?

  5. And where was the management company as these units were being destoyed? I have friends living in CHA and the CHA manager has a right to inspect. Why didn't it happen in time to save the unit from complete and total destruction?

    We all know the management company for our scattered site housing units in Uptown has been a disaster for years. They are the same company that put a single gangmember on a townhouse lease for a townhome for families. And they did nothing when the gang operated out of that townhome for years. The management isn't part of the problem, they are the problem.

  6. I hope Target or the affiliate thereof, has good security. I was at the Peterson Target a week or so ago, and there were kids running all over that place, using it as a hangout - and that Target does not have low income housing built on top of it. Just think what the Wilson Yard Target or affiliate thereof will be like. Madness. Pure madness.

  7. Just think what the Wilson Yard Target or affiliate thereof will be like. Madness. Pure madness.

    This is madness!

    No, this is TARGET!!

    /sorry, had to be done

  8. maybe we will get really luck any it will fall over on the Hotel Chateau.

  9. Speaking of Hotel Chateau, who ever thought of putting a park right next to it. Do parents seriously let their children play there?

  10. they let their children deal there.

  11. I've never had a problem at the Peterson Target.

  12. This is anon. 10:09. I wasn't saying i had a problem at the Peterson Target, just merely saying that is seemed to be a hangout, of sorts, for many teenagers, most of whom appeared to be there without parents. Add a couple hundred units of subsidized housing on top of a Target or affiliate thereof at Wilson Yard, and that business is going to have its hands full.

  13. You get the right kind of security people in there and this problem can be made to disappear very quickly!

    The Target on Elston has been there a long time, and was around for a number of years when the neighborhood wasn't nearly so nice as it is now. Yet I don't remember ever feeling like there were security concerns.

    Target seems to have very good institutional practices so I'm confident they will manage their store properly if it comes to Wilson Yard.

  14. The Target on Elston doesn't have a high-rise of low income housing sitting atop it.

    Not to say that they can't, but I wonder if Target's institutional practices can scale to handle that sort of environment.

    Long and short of it is, I'm not excited to see a Target, or any retail for that matter, go into Wilson Yard if we're just going to warehouse more people on it.

  15. So now it's called Warehousing People instead of low income housing for people with lower incomes?

    If you have so darn much money why don't you move to Lincoln Park?

    Poor people need a place to live too.

  16. anon 4:18 - the thing you're missing is that there is PLENTY of it in Uptown already - why keep adding more? Utilize what we have now and not keep building MORE of it at tax payers expense! Esp. considering the cost of these things! No thanks.

  17. anon 4:18 - the thing you are missing is that if the city would spread low income and disabled housing across the entire city as required by the federal Fair Housing Act then you could go live in Lincoln Park.

  18. I drove by the Gill Park Coop this afternoon. The burned out condo units are still boarded up with plywood. It's been months and months. That can't meet city housing codes.

  19. Of course poor people need a place to live. It is too bad that people in Lincoln Park won't let them live there. I suggest you bring your concerns to the city-at-large rather than pushing around the residents of Uptown, anonymous 4:18. And, the language of "warehousing" is a critique of low income housing practices which have little regard for allowing the poor to live on a human scale and a whole heck of a lot to to with the fact that few neighborhoods in the region are willing to make space for them. I have had it with you apologists. Fight the power!

    Why, why, why, do you hate people on this blog so much? Are there absolutely no reasonable critiques that can be made about affordable housing in Chicago and in the nation? Is everything terrific except for a bunch of spoiled brats like us who are ruining it?!!

    As someone who is very well-versed in the issues, I know as well as you do (or should) that we should be doing better for low-income residents and for the communities in which subsidized housing exist.

  20. I don't want to live in Lincoln Park. I wanted to live in a more diverse neighborhood. I didn't realize when I moved here that I wasn't welcome to be here.

  21. I don't think I ever heard what the cause of this fire was. Faulty wiring, arson, gross negligence?

  22. *rant alert*

    6:21, your panties are in a bunch for all the wrong reasons.

    "Warehousing" people is fairly simplistic to recognize. I look out my window and see boxes and boxes full of people who are poor and/or suffering from various ills. People who have been there for years, and quite honestly, will probably die there without ever having been helped out with anything other than a crumby room to live in.

    That's not a solution, that's a "put them over there and forget about them until election day" mentality.

    Anyone who tells you any differently is lying to you.

    The city doesn't care. Shiller doesn't care. It's either a political or cash gain for them to put people in boxes and stack those boxes here.

    They even go so far as to bastardize the word "diversity" in an effort to make everyone feel good about creating an atmosphere that is truly anything but.

    If this ward were truly diverse, there'd also be tolerance. And understanding. Forgiveness and patience. And there certainly wouldn't be the level of immature violence that we've been witnessing.

    You complain about the yuppies always bitching about this or that, but guess what? It's just not the yuppies bitching. Everyone is bitching.

    Or haven't you been listening?

    No one at this site has ever said that poor people shouldn't be here.

    What they've stated is that to increase the amount of low income housing in an already over-saturated area (warehousing) is simply a bad idea from which no one really gains.

    Shiller can barely keep the streetlights on, let alone work towards improving the area; making it cleaner, nicer and safer.

    Heck, she's been doing WY for 10 years, and there's been nothing done.

    You have to make this ward at least partially viable, economically, or it will eventually collapse under the weight of supposed good intentions.

    Helen not only won't do that, she refuses to do that, then pours salt into the wound by compounding the problem.

    You want diversity, but the diversity that you seem to be advocating will do nothing more than turn Uptown into a large scale Cabrini Green.

    And, you're more than welcomed here, dear. Hell, I'll buy you a drink, if you'd let me.

  23. Wow, that comment got a lot of mileage. I didn't know anyone actually read Yo Chicago.

    Maybe UptownUpdate should start a "Comment of the Day"...

  24. I didn't read "I didn't know I wasn't welcome here.." as having been posted by someone living in low income housing. I read it as coming from someone who was being told to get out of this neighborhood by those who live in low income housing (and the Alderman).

  25. I made the comment about not wanting to live in Lincoln Park. I live in market-rate housing.

    Even though I try to be a good neighbor and I wanted to raise my family in a diverse community, unfortunately I have learned that people like me aren't welcome here. I naively thought that over time people would realize the benefits that middle class owners often bring to an area. I thought I could be part of positive change & balanced redevelopment. I didn't realize how entrenched Shiller, Daley and the social services were in the status quo. I naively thought that if affordable housing were protected better than it had been elsewhere in the city + a solid middle class were to exist here then we would be able to have a successful mixed-income urban community.

    When I moved here 10 years ago, I met many people who had lived here a long time and they seemed to think that if more middle class people moved here then the streets and stores wouldn't be so blighted. There would be a local economic base for jobs, etc. There would be more volunteers for social service programs, etc. I just didn't realize that Shiller, Daley and the area non-profits decided that this was where they were going to "set up shop" for the poor. Just like cities have entertainment districts and vice districts, this is Chicago's poor district. If you are poor or mentally ill and you live somewhere else and you need services, rather than getting them in your own neighborhood, you are encouraged to come here. We have all discussed the various political reasons why this is so. I am disgusted because the system is not really working for those who need help and the power politics are relentlessly squashing whatever true community exists here. Big developers seem to be the only ones having an easier time with enacting changes around here. It's bad.

    Sorry for being unclear. I didn't realize that my comment looked like I was responding somehow to reality chick.

  26. What you say rings true for many of us who moved here. However, I do see the tide turning. Never before have the social services and Shiller ever been held to the hot seat like this before. Never.

    Never before have we had blogs like this to keep so many people informed. Just look at the number of hits.

    Shiller wants you to give up, but she's the one on the verge of giving up. Even O.N.E. is changing its tune when they did not support Labor Ready. They see the writing on the wall and understand now that they must work with the community. Inspiration is still a little slow, but if they want to survive, they will have to get it too.

    I'm here for the long haul. No one is chasing me out of Uptown.

  27. Yeah! What he said!

    And, 5:54, stop saying you aren't welcomed here.

    Good neighbors are the foundation for a good neighborhood. We need more folks like you, darn it.

  28. I completely agree we all benefit from good neighbors who take the time to notice what is going on and get upset about negative dangerous things taking place in our streets. We need people to get out there and do things, write letters, attend community meetings and stand with neighbors at Positive Loitering Events like Uhaul this weekend or Clean and Green next month. This sends a very powerful message to gang members and 46th ward Alderman that we are not going anywhere, we like it here, and we demand safety. Of course she wants you to be quite and hide or move away. That makes her job easier. Imagine if the people who attended all of the community meetings, wrote letters to people who can put some pressure on Helen just left the area. How much easier would her job be to do nothing? That is what she wants, when I get frustrated I remember that and it keeps me motivated to keep pushing for change.

  29. "maybe we will get really luck any it will fall over on the Hotel Chateau."

    Haha! I dream come true!

  30. I live in that building. All I have to say is NOBODY MOVE THERE. The management here sucks because whatever goes wrong in your apartment even if it's not your fault, they hold YOU responsible. How?!?! This building was built in freaking 1969.