Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chicago's Public Housing Changes Not Good for All

Today I read this report on the Better Government Association web site, titled "CHA's Transformation Reshaped a City".  It shows while the displacement of public housing residents led to gentrification in some neighborhoods, which had a positive impact on CHA residents who were able to obtain vouchers and live in these areas, most of the benefit went to those moving in, and less went to the poor people who most often moved into other neighborhoods which already held concentrations of poverty.

In 2010 I included the map of Cabrini-Green (shown above) in this blog article, under the title, "Cabrini-Green gone. Are you sure?"

The BGA article includes a statement that 3200 families now live in Chicago's Near North area.  If families average 3 children per family, that would mean there are at least 9,000 low-income kids hidden in this area and I'm not aware of a lot of non-school tutor/mentor programs still there to help them.  Maybe they don't need as much help since affluent families tend to support schools with better trained teachers and more learning opportunities. That benefits poor kids, too.

In January I created a new map showing locations of the youth serving organizations in my database.  If you set my map next to the map in the BGA article, you can begin to determine what level of non-school, volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs are available in areas where former CHA residents have been moving.

This is an analysis that should include business, political, government, religious, university, CPS, media and residents, with neighborhood groups focusing attention on each of the high poverty community areas.  It's something that should be funded by the major foundations, or by the city, or the CHA.  

The result should be the growth of more and better services to youth and families in the high poverty areas where former CHA residents live, as well as the development of needed programs in the areas where poor people are living mixed in with people of more affluent backgrounds.

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