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Alejandra Cancino

A group of elderly residents has filed a federal complaint against the Chicago Housing Authority for failing to install grab bars in the bathrooms of their public housing units. The complaint accused the CHA of disability and civil rights violations and putting its elderly residents at risk of serious injury or death for failing to take a basic security precaution.
A WBEZ and Better Government Association investigation finds that the Chicago Housing Authority is failing to keep elevators in safe working condition for the nearly 6,000 low-income seniors who live in its buildings. For many of these elderly — especially seniors who use wheelchairs and walking aids — elevators are the only way they can reach the world outside their apartments. Reporters combed through thousands of public records and found systematic oversight and enforcement failures that have put seniors in real danger.
The Chicago Housing Authority paid millions for building upgrades without addressing an aging fleet of elevators, WBEZ and BGA have found.
Nearly 6,000 low-income seniors live in buildings owned by the Chicago Housing Authority. But a WBEZ and the Better Government Association investigation found that the CHA is chronically neglecting its responsibilities to keep elevators in its building safe and reliable. Those responsibilities include making sure required inspections and safety tests are done, and that maintenance happens. When those things don’t happen, elevators break down and, too often, seniors are trapped—in their apartments and sometimes in the elevators.