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Senior Relocation Ordinance an Important Step in Making Affordable Housing in Chicago Better For All

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2019

Contact: Lilly Lerner
(P) 312-787-2382 x 223
lilly@seniorcaucus.org

Alissa Rivera
(P) 312-368-5231
alissarivera@povertylaw.org

Senior Relocation Ordinance an Important Step in Making Affordable Housing in Chicago Better For All

CHICAGO—The City of Chicago has taken an important step towards better serving the needs of Chicago’s elderly residents with the passage of the Chicago Relocation Plan Ordinance. The measure, which unanimously passed the City Council on Wednesday, will ensure that seniors who reside in affordable housing buildings in Chicago have the basic assurance of safety, security, and stability when their homes are being renovated by developers who receive City funding.

This common-sense law was drafted with the input of senior community members from around the city, represented by the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), and with the support of attorneys at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.  

The success of the ordinance is the result of tireless advocacy by both the Shriver Center and the JASC on behalf of senior affordable housing residents in the city. Last year, the two organizations filed a federal complaint against the Chicago Housing Authority for failing to provide elderly and disabled residents with bathroom grab-bars. Under the newly passed ordinance, owners of affordable housing units in Chicago will be required to provide clear relocation plans that will help reduce similar safety violations during renovations and keep elderly residents informed. 

Developers will have to give advance notice for any planned renovations, provide contingencies in the event of emergencies during renovations, offer moving assistance, and designate relocation coordinators to meet with individual residents and address their needs--including accommodations such as bathroom grab-bars.

“Renovations in senior buildings are happening right now all over the city and when seniors are left in the cold and seen as a hindrance to profit, we hurt and pay the ultimate price. The Chicago Relocation Plan Ordinance assures that Seniors’ safety and health are the priority and we no longer have to suffer in the shadows.” - Bill Brown, Senior resident of Maple Pointe Apartments

Everyone deserves to feel safe, secure, and stable in their homes. The success of the Chicago Relocation Plan Ordinance demonstrates how community members, advocates, and local leaders can work together to ensure the dignity and safety of Chicagoans while improving affordable housing buildings in the city. 

”As affordable housing units in Chicago continue to age and require renovation, it is essential that we protect vulnerable residents from disruptions to their health and economic security,” said Emily Coffey, staff attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. “The passage of this Chicago Relocation Plan Ordinance is an encouraging first step.” 

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Jane Addams Senior Caucus is a multiracial, grassroots organization led by concerned seniors in the Chicago metropolitan area. We cross neighborhood, racial, religious and socio-economic lines to find common ground upon which to act on our values. Through leadership development, organizing and popular education, we use the power of our collective voice to work for economic, social and racial justice for all seniors and our communities. www.seniorcaucus.org

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org
 

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