|HUD No. 00-16|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Monday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||January 24, 2000|
HUD RESPONSE TO CONCERNS CONGRESSMAN RUSH AND CAC HAVE WITH THE CHA PUBLIC HOUSING PLAN
Harold Lucas, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, issued a statement today in response to concerns Congressman Bobby Rush (IL) and the Central Advisory Council, which is made up of the Presidents of Resident Associations at public housing developments in Chicago, have with the Chicago Housing Authority's plan to overhaul the city's pubic housing.
Lucas said: All parties agree that substantial change is needed at the CHA, and needed now. However, what the CHA views as burdensome federal restrictions from which relief is sought, CHA residents view as national safeguards that establish minimum protections for tenants and their families. Secretary Cuomo has expressed to me his conviction that HUD play a constructive role in ensuring that the CHA has the flexibility to proceed on an expedited basis, while providing CHA residents with the protections guaranteed them by federal law. At the Secretary's request, I will lead a negotiating team to Chicago to meet with residents and the CHA to work toward resolution of the remaining issues. I am confident that if all parties work in good faith, we can find reasonable and acceptable solutions that enable the CHA, its residents, and HUD to move forward together.
Chronology of events leading to this meeting:
On January 7, 2000, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) submitted to HUD its "Plan for Transformation" designed to redevelop the CHA. The plan requests 29 waivers of federal law and regulation which the CHA believes will facilitate the implementation of the plan.
On January 20, the Central Advisory Council of the Chicago Housing Authority Residents wrote to Harold Lucas expressing their concerns about the final CHA plan. Among other concerns, the residents expressed opposition to any waiver of federal regulation, the heart of the CHA plan.
On January 13, Congressman Bobby Rush wrote to Secretary Cuomo raising similar concerns about the protections afforded to CHA tenants by the plan. A coalition of groups including the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, the Community Renewal Society, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Center on Poverty Law has also written to the Secretary expressing concerns about a decrease in affordable housing at a time when the affordable housing market is very tight. All of the correspondents requested meetings to discuss these concerns as HUD conducts its review process.