The Chicago Housing Authority is making a last call to about 3,200 former public-housing residents who have not exercised their right to return to the authority's properties or receive vouchers for renting in the private housing market.
The residents lived in CHA properties on Oct. 1, 1999, months before the authority launched its Plan for Transformation in 2000. The plan, which officials say is nearly 70 percent complete, has moved thousands of public-housing residents as officials redevelop and rehabilitate the authority's properties.
Part of the plan was the Relocation Rights Contract, which allowed affected residents to return to public housing. According to officials, 54 percent have exercised that right, but the remaining residents have not responded to any CHA notice of available housing in 10 years.
Yesterday, officials posted legal notices in English- and Spanish-language Chicago newspapers. The notices state that the residents have 90 days to respond before they lose their right to return to public housing or receive a voucher. To be eligible afterward, they would need to prove that they could not respond within that time.
The residents' names are on a list at the CHA Web site. Officials say they are also posted on the Illinois and Cook County treasurers' Web sites. CHA officials say they have also tried to reach the residents using certified mail.
CHA Chief Executive Officer Lewis A. Jordan said the authority cannot reopen a wait list for public housing until after the 90-day period.
"In these difficult economic times — when people need housing assistance more than ever — it is imperative that we complete this process," Jordan said in a statement.