Residents of the Lathrop Homes along with Logan Square community leaders will hold a rally Thursday afternoon to ask the Chicago Housing Authority why 600 units of the 900-unit Lathrop Homes development have been allowed to remain vacant when thousands of Chicago families need good affordable housing.
It's a good question to ask. The low-rise development, at Diversey and the Chicago River on the eastern edge of Logan Square, is the city’s most diverse public housing community. It has housed a blend of African-American, Latino and white families – both low-income and working class – for nearly 50 years. And in a neighborhood with rising rents and condo conversions due to gentrification, it's a potentially valuable resource for families that need an affordable place to live.
That's why the Lathrop Leadership Team, Lathrop Local Advisory Council and Logan Square Neighborhood Association will call on the CHA to put 300 of the development’s 600 vacant units back into service by 2010.
“Keeping these units empty, in the midst of a housing crisis, is a terrible waste,” says Cynthia Scott, a member of the Lathrop Leadership Team. “Leasing 300 units would help families avoid homelessness and reduce the crime and maintenance problems that come with vacancies.”
At 4 p.m., residents and community leaders will march through Lathrop Homes, starting at the corner of Clybourn, Wellington (3000 N) & Leavitt (2200 W). At 5 p.m. (just in time for the local TV news), participants will gather outside one of the vacant homes on Leavitt just north of Diversey Parkway.
When the CHA began its Plan for Transformation in 1999, it put Lathrop on the back burner, listing its future as “to be determined.” Nine years later, there is still no plan to revitalize the development. But since 1999, the CHA has barred Lathrop’s manager from leasing units after families move out. As a result, the number of vacancies has soared to more than 600.
Thanks to Logan Square Neighborhood Association's Tami Love for passing on this information. A resident vision for Lathrop is here. For more information, contact Tami Love, 773-549-2525, x 1 or John McDermott, 773-384-4370 x38 or 773-617-3949 (cell).