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Emanuel’s CHA plan challenged

UPDATED – While Cabrini Row House residents prepare to challenge CHA plans for mixed-income development, CHA resident leaders and housing advocates are questioning Mayor Emanuel’s update to the agency’s Plan For Transformation.

The Cabrini-Green Local Advisory and supporters will hold a press conference Thursday morning (May 16 at 9:30 a.m., 530 W. Locust) to announce “a new initiative to protect the Carini Row Houses,” according to a release from the Legal Assistance Foundation.

Row House residents have called on CHA to fulfill the promise in the original PFT to rehabilitate the development as 100 percent public housing; that plan was put on hold in 2011.

Meanwhile, resident leaders and community organizations called on the CHA board to reject the mayor’s plan and return to the drawing board — and to heed input from the public, including an emphasis on preservation and rehab of existing units rather than subsidizing private development as the most cost-effective way to meet CHA’s obligations.

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Public housing and human rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States is considering appointing a Special Rapporteur on housing rights, following the testimony of Chicago activists and others at a hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 4.

Participants will report back at a meeting on the morning of Friday, March 18, UIC’s Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted.

Cabrini Green resident leader Carole Steele, president of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, testified at the meeting along with activists from Canada and Brazil. She cited a recent study finding hundreds of former CHA residents staying in homeless shelters after being forced out by demolitions.

The right to adequate housing is enshrined in the UN human rights convention and in OAS conventions which are binding on the United States.

Joining Steele on the 18th will be Professor Daniel Rothenberg of the Human Rights Institute at the DePaul School of Law, along with others who will discuss federal budget cuts affecting housing.

The commissioners encouraged participants to follow up on the issue by filing individual petitions, said Rene Heyback, an attorney with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

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