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Now that the Chicago Housing Authority’s ambitious redevelopment of public housing is nearly complete, it cannot find 3,200 former residents to see if they plan to return.

Now that the Chicago Housing Authority’s ambitious redevelopment of public housing is nearly complete, it cannot find 3,200 former residents to see if they plan to return. So far only 54 percent of residents who lived in CHA’s family developments have satisfied their right of return while the remaining 46 percent have not. And of those awaiting relocation to permanent housing, more than 2,000 are temporarily living in the private market with Housing Choice Vouchers, and approximately 1,600 are living in public housing. Over 3,200 residents have not responded to any CHA notice of available housing over the past 10 years, according to Matt Aguilar, a spokesman for the CHA. CHA previously sent notices to residents by certified mail requesting updated information. It now plans to run legal notices in various newspapers as a way to reach out to residents. The legal notices will run the next 90 days and eligible leaseholders’ names will also be posted on CHA, Illinois State and Cook County Treasurer’s Web sites. After 90 days, names of those who do not respond will be removed from the list, and the former residents will no longer have a right to return to a CHA or Housing Choice Voucher unit.   However, if an applicant proves his or her inability to respond, they may be eligible for reinstatement. “In these difficult economic times, when people need housing assistance more than ever, it is imperative that we complete this process,” said Lewis Jordan, chief executive officer for the CHA. “Only then can we reopen the public housing Wait List and provide new families the opportunity for the affordable housing that they need.” ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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