More people kicked out at Cabrini
Crime cited by CHA officials in serving 180 day notice to tenants
09/02/2011 3:58 PM
Some Cabrini-Green rowhouse residents got their marching orders from the Chicago Housing Authority on late Thursday night.
Citing safety concerns over what they called “persistent criminal activity” in the area, CHA officials handed out 180 day relocation notices to tenants in 33 households within the Francis Cabrini Rowhouses, a 584 unit public housing development on the city’s Near North Side.
Those residents who received notices are the last remaining occupants of the 73-year-old development’s 438 unrehabbed units. According to CHA spokesperson Kellie O’Connell Miller, 31 of the 88 individuals residing in those households are children.
The agency said that the decision to vacate those units was motivated by recent criminal incidents around the rowhouses involving illegal firearms and drug trafficking.
After meeting with members of Cabrini’s resident-led Local Advisory Council to discuss the notices, CHA interim CEO Carlos Ponce said that the order was a necessary step toward ensuring resident safety.
“Even an injury or one death would be unacceptable to us,” he said.
Ponce said that despite the agency having implemented additional security, police patrols and cameras at the rowhouses in recent months, the area has proven too dangerous for continued occupancy.
But resident leadership doesn’t see the situation at the rowhouses in the same light.
Maurice Edwards is vice president of the Cabrini LAC and a former resident of the area. He moved out last year when similar emergency notices were handed out at the high rise where he lived at 1230 N. Larrabee St.
Edwards said that the decision to issue notices at the rowhouses was “not a responsible move.”
“This is one of the very same tactics that they used to shake down other Cabrini buildings,” he said.
Edwards said that the recent crimes in the area had not been definitively linked to the rowhouses, and called the current police presence at the development “ineffective.”
CHA has stated that it will assist residents with relocations efforts, and that lease-compliant families can choose to return to Cabrini “once a decision on the future of the property is made.
The agency rehabbed 146 of the rowhouse units in 2009, all but about twenty of which are currently occupied.