Bold Plans Spurn A Sense of Hope, Community

A suburb in Chicago enlists volunteer planners, developers and others to take control in rehabilitating a declining neighborhood.
September 6, 2003, 9am PDT | Connie Chung
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"Believing that home ownership gives residents an unshakable stake in their neighborhood, officials in Riverdale are endorsing a plan for the village to buy, rehab and resell hundreds of rundown rental town homes" in the Pacesetter area, a troubled community with high student turnover rates, high crime, high unemployment rates, and not many housing options for Section 8 holders. "Under the bold concept hatched by volunteer planners, developers and social service experts, the south suburban village would buy as many as 40 town homes a year in the Pacesetter neighborhood over the next decade. Besides turning tenants into homeowners, the plan would try to turn around attitudes and lifestyles in an area that has become accustomed to decline....The plan also includes the renovation of a nearly abandoned gym into a community center, extending 137th Street and adding other amenities to the area."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Thursday, September 4, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune

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