Affordable Housing Dilemna

Cracking down on substandard conditions in an expiring-use apartment complex in Joliet, IL could have unintended consequences for Section 8 holders.
August 3, 2003, 9am PDT | Connie Chung
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A management company in Joliet, IL wants to restructure its debt and enter into an agreement with HUD that would keep Evergreen Terrace, a 356-unit apartment complex, open for an additional 30 years. "But the city cites a laundry list of problems at the complex of five-story buildings, including crime, 200 false fire alarms a year and code violations such as having no fire doors that work properly....Joliet has proposed that the federal government foreclose on the property, then possibly allow the city to buy it back cheaply, to create either a park or commercial development." Many residents share the same concerns as city officials about the substandard conditions, although there are also doubts that "there is enough affordable housing elsewhere in Joliet to which residents of Evergreen Terrace could move." City officials say that before the complex is closed down, the city would "spend four to seven years relocating the residents into apartments owned by the Joliet Housing Authority or into private apartments that accept a subsidy."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, August 1, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune

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