WBEZ | cabrini http://www.wbez.org/tags/cabrini Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Teardown begins at last Cabrini high rise http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-30/cabrini_7.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Demolition is set to begin Wednesday at the final Cabrini-Green public housing high rise on Chicago’s Near North Side.</p><p>The last families in the building on North Burling Street moved out in December. It will take eight weeks to tear down the structure.</p><p>Cabrini had suffered from neighborhood and physical decline.</p><p>The wrecking ball symbolizes an end of an era, but public housing has not ended at Cabrini: for more than a decade, Cabrini has embarked on a new chapter.</p><p>The Chicago Housing Authority’s plan has been to remake the development into a mixed-income community composed of market-rate, affordable and public housing.</p><p>There has been debate about the composition of that mix, however. One particular point of controversy has been what to do with hundreds of low-rise units. Residents are fighting to keep them 100 percent public housing.</p><p>Cabrini is nestled on prime land – not far from Chicago’s wealthy Gold Coast neighborhood.</p><div class="daylife_smartgalleries_container" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 460px; width: 600px;"><iframe class="daylife_smartgalleries_frame" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://galleries.wbez.org/gallery_slideshow/1301510530701?width=600&amp;disable_link_to_hosted_page=0&amp;height=460&amp;show_related=0" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 100%; width: 100%;"></iframe></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21714030?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 30 Mar 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447 Daley's legacy on Chicago public housing http://www.wbez.org/story/altgeld-gardens/daleys-legacy-chicago-public-housing <p><p><span style="color: black;">In 1999, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley masterminded the controversial, Chicago Housing Authority Plan for Transformation.</span></p> <div><span style="color: black;">The idea was to root out concentrated urban poverty and create 25,000 units of housing.</span></div> <div><span style="color: black;">The plan tore down high rises, rehabbed apartments and built new mixed-income communities.</span></div> <div><span style="color: black;">Now, Daley&rsquo;s preparing to leave office, and as he does, he leaves behind an enormous, unanswered question: can public housing actually integrate into the fabric of an economically diverse city?</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;"><br /></span></div> <div><i><span style="color: black;">ambi: Cabrini cranes</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">This is the sound of cranes knocking down a public housing high rise at Cabrini Green last year.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">It&rsquo;s also the sound of a plan in motion &ndash; an ambitious plan to remake public housing.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Mayor Richard M. Daley on the Plan for Transformation:</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">DALEY: From San Paolo all the way to Paris &ndash; guess what they&rsquo;re talking about? High rise public housings and how many socioeconomic problems they have in these with gangs, guns and drugs; destruction of their family. So again transformation for CHA has been working and we&rsquo;re been very proud of that, which is important.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: black;">Daley&rsquo;s father &ndash; Richard J. &ndash; was on watch when many high rises went up. </span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: black;">Richard M. was responsible for the current plan to tear them down. </span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: black;">Housing expert and attorney Alex Polikoff articulates the big idea behind this Plan for Transformation.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: black;">POLIKOFF: A vast literature has told us something with great clarity now. Namely, that large, urban enclaves of exclusively poor families isn&rsquo;t a good idea either for the families over the long-term or the surrounding communities. Simply rehabbing physical shelter without paying attention to socioeconomic dynamics is unwise.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">The plan&rsquo;s physical consequences are visible.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Take the Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Ten years ago they stood like a wall along the Dan Ryan Expressway.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Today, they&rsquo;re gone.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">In several public housing developments, CHA has carefully-engineered a new mix of housing: one third public, one third affordable, and one third market rate.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">That plan to integrate poor people with higher-income households has been moving along &ndash; but not all that fast &hellip; and sometimes not that well because of class conflicts and people being unceremoniously moved out of their apartments.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><i><span style="color: black;">ambi: running water</span></i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Ora Jones makes coffee in her two-bedroom apartment.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">She lives in a part of Cabrini Green many people aren&rsquo;t aware of - not the high rises &hellip; but the&nbsp;<i>rowhouses</i>&nbsp;just a few blocks away.</span> <span style="color: black;">Most of the rowhouses are boarded up, but Jones lives in a newly refurbished one.</span> <span style="color: black;">She moved in last spring and loves the new look: grass in the backyard and community barbeque grills.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">JONES: I think they&rsquo;re wonderful because the back is beautiful. I used get up in the morning, get my coffee and go out there and sit.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">During the younger Daley&rsquo;s era, Cabrini, near Chicago&rsquo;s Gold Coast neighborhood, has been transformed into a mixed-income community.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">But it&rsquo;s not clear whether it makes sense to economically integrate Cabrini even more.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Again, the Plan for Transformation is supposed to remake developments into thirds &ndash; market, affordable and public housing. But that one-third number has just been a guiding principle. Right now Cabrini has more market-rate units than public and affordable units &hellip; combined.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Residents like Jones think more of Cabrini should be reserved for poor people, especially when she looks around and sees pricey condos and new businesses.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">JONES: Why should it just be a third? How many people would be left here on a third?</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">CHA has stopped rehabbing the rowhouses.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">If it transforms Cabrini too much &hellip; it&rsquo;ll have to move out some public housing residents &ndash; and they might end up in neighborhoods with fewer services and jobs.</span></div> <div><span style="color: black;">The tenant leadership worries about that prospect.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">And so do some housing experts.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">SMITH: So when we look at what we&rsquo;re trying to solve with public housing redevelopment, we know that mixed income is not the panacea. It&rsquo;s not going to solve all the problems.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Janet Smith is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">SMITH: When you want to talk about mix, you want to look at it at scale. Right now if we just look at a two or three block area and say oh, there&rsquo;s concentrated poverty, we have to get rid of it, we have to realize that those folks have the ability to walk across the street and be in million-dollar homes. Literally. I mean, literally $3 million dollar homes are across the street on Chicago Avenue.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">CHA officials say there are no details yet on what will happen to Cabrini&rsquo;s row houses. It&rsquo;s rehabbed 146 of them. It still hasn&rsquo;t said what it intends to do with the 440 that are left.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">CHA CEO Lewis Jordan:</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">JORDAN: We&rsquo;re sitting down now talking again with stakeholders in the community asking as we continue the process of creating better housing where the rowhouses are &ndash; what should that product look like?</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Daley&rsquo;s push to remake public housing is complicated by a simple fact.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Chicago</span><span style="color: black;"> is a big place &ndash; so it&rsquo;s hard to apply one principle like &ldquo;economic integration&rdquo; across all of the developments.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">For example, Altgeld Gardens is a community of rowhouses.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Unlike Cabrini &ndash; Altgeld&rsquo;s not in an up-and-coming neighborhood.&nbsp; </span><span style="color: black;">It&rsquo;s in a de-industrialized section on the city&rsquo;s southern edge, along the Calumet River. </span></div> <div><span style="color: black;">But the CHA is stopping rehab work on Altgeld &hellip; just like it did at the Cabrini rowhouses. </span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Again, CHA&rsquo;s Lewis Jordan.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">JORDAN</span><span style="color: black;">: We&rsquo;re looking at the overall Altgeld Gardens community and in trying to get a broader neighborhood community perspective of what our next steps are.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">CHA didn&rsquo;t slate Atlgeld as mixed income. There&rsquo;re no high-income households nearby. Jobs are scarce. And businesses have mostly shied away, too.</span></div> <div><span style="color: black;">Redevelopment at Altgeld is tricky in a way never seen at Cabrini.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">JORDAN</span><span style="color: black;">: The fact that it&rsquo;s out so far when you look at not only the housing there but the lack of economic infrastructure. There&rsquo;s a lack of businesses &ndash; it&rsquo;s just isolated.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">WILLIAMS: The residents don&rsquo;t feel that we&rsquo;re isolated. The only thing problem that we have is &ndash; we don&rsquo;t have a grocery store.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Bernadette Williams is president of the Atlgeld tenant council.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Williams says there&rsquo;re some good things happening at Altgeld. There&rsquo;s a lot of open space. Urban farms are taking advantage of that.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">And, there&rsquo;s word the Chicago Transit Authority might extend the Red Line train to Altgeld. That might bring some vitality, too.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Williams has a vision for Atlgeld that she&rsquo;s let the higher ups know. She wants to prevent it from being an island of poverty.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">WILLIAMS: We was asking them to change like the structure and the income levels so it won&rsquo;t all be low income moving back in because we don&rsquo;t want the development to resort back to what it used to be because people with no income &ndash; it seems like people with no income really don&rsquo;t care where they live.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">CHA is tightlipped about the future of Altgeld and Cabrini.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">The Plan for Transformation&rsquo;s directive to economically integrate places like Altgeld and Cabrini has attracted challenges and criticism. </span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">And it could get more &ndash; the Plan&rsquo;s got another five years to go.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="color: black;">Or &hellip; that might change, if Chicago&rsquo;s new mayor feels like going back to the drawing board. </span></div></p> Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/altgeld-gardens/daleys-legacy-chicago-public-housing