MPC releases fact sheet assessing redevelopment progress of CHA Plan for Transformation - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

MPC releases fact sheet assessing redevelopment progress of CHA Plan for Transformation

The fourth in the Public Housing in the Public Interest series focuses on the timing, land-availability, decision-making and financing issues affecting redevelopment, spotlighting progress at four sites — Lake Park Crescent, Henry Horner, Jazz on the Boulevard and Madden/Wells/Darrow.

Unprecedented Urban Revitalization

"Strengthening America's neighborhoods while reaching our lowest-income families," said the organizers of a national symposium of 1,000 housing professionals in Chicago this spring, is "mixed-income housing's greatest challenge."

Nowhere is mixed-income theory moving into practice more ambitiously than in the Chicago Housing Authority Plan for Transformation.

In ten short years, in response to federal mandates, this Plan calls for the tearing down of all 53 "gallery-style" high rises, and the redevelopment or renovation of approximately 25,000 public housing units; enough to fulfill the CHA's commitment to provide all leaseholders (as of October 1999) with a new or improved home. By the late 1990s, the CHA owned and operated nearly 39,000 apartments, but nearly 14,000 of them were vacant and uninhabitable. The goal of this transformation is to prevent this level of neglect in the future, not only via improved property management and support services for residents, but also by ending the racial, economic and spatial segregation that has defined public housing in years past. New public housing is being developed within mixed-income, pedestrian-friendly communities. 

Success requires systemic changes in all areas of the CHA: property management, asset management and service delivery. It will also require unprecedented coordination between the Chicago mayor's office, aldermen, City departments, City agencies and the CHA.

The challenges the Plan seeks to overcome are great. Overall, 25,000 new or renovated public housing units are intended to provide the following:

  • 6,149 new homes for families
  • 3,578 renovated homes for families
  • 3,017 additional family units that will either be new or renovated
  • 9,480 apartments for seniors
  • 2,776 scattered site units
    25,000 new or renovated homes total

Public Housing in the Public Interest

The scope and magnitude of these changes are as daunting as the conditions that precipitated the Plan. For too long, thousands of families had been
neglected, living in squalor and isolated in poverty within one of the most rapidly prospering cities in the country.

The Plan for Transformation offers an opportunity to draw public housing residents within better reach of that prosperity. "Success in federal housing poli-
cy needs to be evaluated not just according to the number of housing units produced," said the Millennial Housing Commission's recent report to
Congress, "but also in terms of whether the housing produced improves both communities and individual lives."

The latest in the Metropolitan Planning Council's Public Housing in the Public Interest series monitoring the progress of the Plan for Transformation is now available.  “Examining the Chicago Housing Authority’s Redevelopment Strategy” focuses on the timing, land-availability, decision-making and financing issues affecting redevelopment, spotlighting progress at four priority sites — Lake Park Crescent, Henry Horner, Jazz on the Boulevard, Madden/Wells/Darrow.  It also looks at issues surrounding the Rockwell Gardens and ABLA developments. 

Click here to download the complete report.

MPC on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter »


Stay in the loop!

MPC's Regionalist newsletter keeps you up to date with our work and our upcoming events.

Subscribe to Regionalist


Most popular news

Browse by date »

This page can be found online at http://www.metroplanning.org/news/3043

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

Donate »