Activists sue city over proposed Chicago Fire FC facility on Near West Side

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Public housing advocates say the city of Chicago and others did not uphold a promise to bring residents back to the Near West Side after tearing down public housing buildings years ago.

An advocacy ground has filed suit against the city over plans to build a training facility for the Chicago Fire FC soccer team on the site.

"Bring us back where we initially came from," one advocate said during a rally outside the Dirksen federal building.

The suit was filed in June by the Chicago Housing Authority Initiative and other groups. The federal suit named the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and seeks to halt the construction of the new soccer training facility near the intersection of Roosevelt and Ashland.  

That facility will sit on 25 acres of public housing land. Roderick Wilson of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center criticized the decision to build the facility on the site.  

"They're taking public housing land…from our community that's supposed to be for housing,” he said.

Chicago Fire FC is not party to the lawsuit. It says its lease payments will help the city to bolster the CHA’s mission to create affordable housing.  which is not party to the lawsuit, says its lease payments to the

“(The club has been) highly engaged with residents and key stakeholders on the near west side to ensure the performance center has a positive impact on the community,” the Fire said in a statement.

CHA declined comment due to the pending nature of the litigation.

"The city itself is picking property over people, money over souls," said activist Consuela Hendricks.

 A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday to determine whether construction will be allowed to proceed pending the outcome of the suit.

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