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Edgewater Woman Upset With Lack Of Affordable Housing, Protests Ben Carson Talk Yesterday

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Being ranked as the third most segregated city in the country, Chicago is trying to break free of that distinction. Those groups rallying for better affordable housing in more idyllic Chicago neighborhoods found an opportunity to voice their concerns when Ben Carson, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, made an appearance in Chicago yesterday.

Coming on the heels of the Trump administration’s announcement that they would delay enforcement of a new Obama-era rule that would help address racial segregation in federal housing, activists were poised to get their message heard. They have been seeking to help desegregate Chicago area neighborhoods by pressuring the Chicago Housing Authority to find landlords in better communities that will take subsidies for low-income families.

Carson attended an early closed meeting at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building. That meeting was interrupted by 66-year-old Edgewater resident Debra Miller who wanted to know how Carson would ensure adequate housing for for the homeless and seniors. Carson ignored Miller and she was escorted out of the building.

Miller said in a Tribune article, “He’s not here to help, and he’s not here to provide. He never talked about what he knew of housing, he never said the word ‘housing.’ But I did.”

With much of the area’s new construction and renovated buildings having healthy percentages of apartments dedicated to families in need, Edgewater has been a melting pot of a wide range of income levels among its residents. However many people with housing subsidies still find themselves stuck in segregated, poverty-stricken neighborhoods with high crime.

According to the Tribune, hundreds of low-income Chicagoans sit on waiting lists for years to get access to housing subsidies and public housing. During his Chicago visit, Carson did not meet with any community groups to discuss these issues nor did he address the White House’s controversial decision on racial segregation in federal housing.

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  • Brightest Bulb

    The same people you elect locally to give you the subsidies are the same people who raise taxes, gas companies raise rates, comed raises electricity rates and you STILL want a handout. Get a second job like people used to do if they wanted something nicer than they had. The government and landlords do not owe you a standard of living you feel you should have for free. Maybe if the CHA wasn’t handing out vouchers for people to live in the Gold Coast, there would be a bit more to go around.

  • NailGun

    Maybe they should get jobs so they can afford a house. That’s not what they want though. They want a house provided for them, by taxpayers.

  • TwiggyB

    Ben Carson was chosen because of his skin color for that position. Ben Carson knows NOTHING ABOUT HOUSING! Trump put him in because he was stereotyping. And Carson is being watched by everyone on the planet. He really has no help in that position publicly or privately.

    Expect nothing until you get a leader who will appoint someone who has knowledge of that job. That means you’ll have to wait for a Dem-President who hopefully won’t fail the American people. One who thinks deportation & a wall aren’t as important than housing.

  • mh

    Good for Debra! Sorry but the statement by the editor that Edgewater’s “new construction and renovated buildings having healthy percentages of apartments dedicated to families in need” is highly misleading and, unfortunately, shows poor understanding of the actual situation in our community. While the Alderman has been stalwart in upholding ordinances providing some percentage of units at rental writedown , it truly doesn’t address the issue of affordability for families in need for 2 reasons. 1. Income eligibility for the rentals is based on area median income(AMI) and the area includes all the richest suburbs, so that the income level is pretty high and applies to people that really have lots of other choices. 2. All the new construction and much of the renovations are small apartments unsuitable for most families. Too small. Unfortunately, that’s the real deal Better than nothing but basically irrelevant in the challenges lower and middle income families face. And, in Edgewater, they are holding on by their fingernails.

    Two possible ways to address this: Instead of using the usual 80% of area median income that includes the richest suburbs, you could target it at 30,40,50% of the median income; that would help a lot. You could also institute some form of rent control that was equitable for landlords as well (I’m one and am willing) which might make some older, larger units available to families.

    Since Edgewater’s diversity on all levels, is our greatest strength, it’s worth a shot! I can dream can’t I?!?!?.