Residents of CHA Building Demand Better Housing

The Woodlawn Corporation says problems are being addressed through $13M in renovations

By Michelle Relerford
|  Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013  |  Updated 8:34 PM CDT
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relerford senior housing protest cha

relerford senior housing protest cha

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They say their homes feel more like a jail, and they want someone to do something about it.

About a dozen residents of the Judge Slater Senior Housing on Tuesday protested outside Chicago Housing Authority headquarters demanding decent homes.

Pictures and videos taken from inside the complex at East 42nd Place and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood show cockroaches crawling on the walls and dozens more trapped.

"Since the time I've been there, for three-and-a-half years, I have caught between 45 and 50 mice in my apartment alone," said resident Aryah Benyahudah.

Another resident said he's been repeatedly bitten by bedbugs.

According to officials with the management company, The Woodlawn Corporation, those problems are being addressed through roughly $13 million in renovations.

"It's a group of probably about eight residents out of 252 residents, and these residents are disgruntled," said company spokeswoman Annette King.

The Woodlawn Corporation was founded by the Rev. Leon Finney Jr., a close friend and ally of former Mayor Richard Daley. Tenants of another building two years ago accused Finney and his ties with slowing down repairs on their troubled property.

A Chicago Housing Authority spokesperson said the agency was going to continue working with residents and the management company.

"Affordability and safe and decent housing is our number one priority," said the CHA's Wendy Parks.

Going forward, Parks said weekly meetings between CHA, property managers and residents would continue. There were no plans, however, for meetings between residents and Finney.

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