Another Dimension Of The Housing Challenge

A study that focuses on squatters living in public housing units slated for demolition, foregrounds the imminent threat of homelessness and the need for affordable supportive housing in Chicago.
August 10, 2003, 1pm PDT | Connie Chung
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A study by the Urban Institute concludes that nearly 1,000 people living in a public housing complex slated for demolition in Chicago, are in danger of becoming homeless. Despite the Chicago Housing Authority's efforts to set aside units for some displaced residents and find transitional housing for squatters, the report cites a number of factors that still make homelessness a threat: Hundreds are living in the complex illegally, some are "legal residents who have other complications, such as lease violations that may leave them ineligible for new housing. Others have physical disabilities or large families that are hard to house in Chicago's tight rental market....The study found that a little more than two-thirds of the squatters lived in vacant units, but the rest slept in hallways, trash rooms, stairwells and other spaces....The study found that the typical squatter is a single man in his 40s with a substance abuse problem, but 36 percent are women and some have children."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, August 8, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune

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