Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-09-28
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES                DOWNLOAD PDF ISSUE

Hundreds to be displaced as Lakeview hotels close
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-08-10

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Hundreds of residents in the 44th Ward are scrambling to find housing after two single-room occupancy hotels (SROs) served up notices to vacate late last month. The closings impact an estimated 350 tenants, some of whom have HIV, mental illnesses and other disabilities.

Both The Sheffield House hotel, 3834 N. Sheffield Ave., and The Belair Hotel, 424 W. Diversey Ave., have been sold.

The Belair, which houses approximately 250 tenants, served notice on July 13 that the hotel would close Monday, Aug. 15. The Sheffield notified its estimated 105 residents on July 28 and 29 that the premises had been "closed effective immediately for repairs" and that residents were to leave.

"The trauma that this has caused is evident," said Lori Cannon, a food program coordinator with Vital Bridges, which provides food to HIV-positive clients.

Cannon was on the way out to the Sheffield Aug. 5 in the morning to deliver shampoo, toothpaste and underwear to a client who had panicked and thrown out his belongings earlier in the week.

The man, who is HIV-positive and gay, was to talk with Windy City Times about how the closing is impacting him. He is among an estimated 20-40 who have remained in the building. However, when Cannon arrived, she said, she found the man had been hospitalized the night before after an apparent nervous breakdown.

"This is the result of a lot of stress and panic and fear," Cannon said.

The Sheffield, predating its recent purchase by Sheffield I LLC, was found to have violated 53 city codes earlier in the year. Violations included failure to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; maintaining potable water; repairing broken and peeling walls; and fixing a host of electrical and plumbing problems.

A circuit court ruled in May that the violations be corrected by Oct. 1 or be vacated.

The building, however, had not been condemned.

Buildings that are condemned can be vacated immediately for safety reasons. Assuming they are not condemned, code mandates that residents be allowed between a week to 30 days to vacate, depending on the length of tenancy. Consequently, some have questioned the legality of the Sheffield notices.

Bennett Lawson, a spokesperson for 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, speculated that the Sheffield vacate notices were "not exactly legal."

Rumors have also swirled that a term of the sale to Sheffield I LLC was that the building be vacated. Windy City Times could not confirm this. Sheffield I LLC did not return requests to comment in time for publication, some of which were made over the weekend.

Elizabeth Rosenthal, a housing attorney for Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, also questions the legality of the Belair notice.

While the notice from the building's manager, W.H. Windmiller and Associates, asserts that the "notice constitutes the necessary 30 days termination notice for all rental units," the letters issued July 13 may not constitute a full month for tenants who pay rent on the first of the month.

Rosenthal believes that notices may have been given to people who pay rent on the first of each month and not the 15th. If that is the case, some tenants in the Belair might be able to stay until Sept. 1.

A person who picked up the phone at the Belair but refused to give his name said that rent is generally collected on the first of the month for month-to-month renters. Management could not be reached by the time of publication.

The Belair's connection to Chicago's LGBT community is deep, if not for its location near Lakeview than for one famous former tenant. For 18 years, room 317 was home of Jon-Henri Damski, the celebrated LGBT journalist who was instrumental in passing the city's human-rights ordinance in 1988.

Both hotels, Cannon said, are home to people her organization has served for years.

Cannon said that at least five of her clients remained in the Sheffield hotel. She criticized its immediate closing as "inexcusable and shameful."

"Can you imagine if this was the winter? There would have been deaths," she said. "This is affecting the gay community and the AIDS community."

Evictions in both buildings could take as long as two months. Landlords cannot forcibly remove tenants, lock them out, stop providing utilities or remove their belongings without filing and winning evictions in court. In those cases it is up to police, not landlords, to remove tenants.

Jennifer Ritter, executive director of Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC), which has been fighting to preserve SROs, said that the closures could lead to homelessness for many residents.

While rent for SROs can sometimes match those of market-rate apartments, many who live in SROs cannot afford security deposits on apartments or have been rejected by potential landlords for bad credit or criminal records, said Ritter.

"These folks have jobs," she said. "There's just something that makes it hard for them to get through this incredibly tight housing market."

SROs have been disappearing over the past few decades. Originally conceived for temporary Chicago workers in the late 1800s, SRO hotels in Chicago have often suffered from bad reputations and lack of adequate management. As such, their demise has been expedited by political pressure.

"There are some rough criminal issues at some of these SROs," said Lawson, adding that if the alderman supported SRO housing it would not be in current terms. "We've had some safety issues," he said. Among them, Lawson said were crimes, drugs and prostitution.

Lawson said that his office was interested in "more stable" affordable housing in the ward, including government-subsidized buildings where occupants pay 30 percent of their incomes in rent.

Still he said, figuring out where to immediately house people who have been displaced by the two recent SRO closings, presents a challenge. Lawson informed LAC of the Belair closing and asked the organization to help residents find new housing.

"It's hard to do in Lakeview," he said.

For now, LAC might aim pressure new managers at the Sheffield to shell out money for security deposits and first month's rent. That way, she said, people who can't afford the deposits will be able to relocate. That however, may not fix situations for all.

Some who stay at SROs live in shelters half of the month, saving enough money for an SRO room to sleep in for the other half, Ritter said.

Cannon said that other local groups were mobilizing to help SRO residents cope. She remained hopeful that her client who spent the weekend in the hospital would recover.

"This guy's had more comebacks than Liz Taylor," she said. "He'll survive."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Feldblum reflects on being first out EEOC commissioner 2016-09-28
LGBT business event focuses on supplier diversity 2016-09-28
HUD rule requires equal treatment of transgender people in emergency shelters 2016-09-20
WERQ! LGBTQ job fair Sept. 16 in Chicago 2016-09-07
Entrepreneur talks ABDL, Tykables store, public reaction 2016-09-07
Covenant House Interim E.D. has come home 2016-09-05
Cleveland trans woman files federal suit against housing authorities 2016-09-05
Japanese-American center hosts workshop on LGBTQ-affirming spaces 2016-08-31
La Casa Norte breaks ground for Pierce House and Community Center in Humboldt Park 2016-08-26
WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair Sept. 16 2016-08-18
WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair Sept. 16 in Chicago 2016-08-18
Out & Equal workshop challenges companies to engage allies 2016-08-17
Tiny Homes model tours in August 2016-08-10
Out of the Office rings in Pride month with celebration and charity 2016-06-02
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-06-01
Midsommarfest returns to Andersonville for 51st year 2016-05-29
Ald. Moreno unveils plans for LGBT-friendly affordable housing project 2016-05-22
Alderman proposes LGBTQ-friendly Logan Square development 2016-05-19
NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY: W. Kamau Bell on his name, CNN show and housing benefit 2016-05-18
Incoming Chicago House CEO looks ahead 2016-05-15
NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY W. Kamau Bell on his name, CNN show and housing benefit 2016-05-14
LGBT issues spotlighted at financial/legal planning event 2016-05-11
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-05-04
LGBT groups release homelessness report 2016-05-04
Business leaders discuss LGBT certification 2016-04-30
Guest column: Do you know your fair housing rights? 2016-04-27
Center on Halsted starts housing initiative 2016-04-27
Tiny Home Summit looks at housing solutions for Chicago 2016-04-22
Tiny Home Summit responds to homelessness 2016-04-17
Out & Equal promotes workplace equality 2016-04-13
Summit focuses on Tiny Home designs to combat homelessness 2016-04-13
Youth protest Rauner at governor's mansion over homeless funds 2016-04-06
Campaign launched to create unity in ending LGBTQ poverty 2016-04-06
Covenant House youth shelter expanding to Chicago 2016-04-03
Center announces broadened mission at gala 2016-04-03
LGBT Community Fund grants support collaborations in health, housing services 2016-03-31
Tiny Homes Summit to focus on housing designs to combat homelessness 2016-03-29
Summit to focus on tiny home designs to combat homelessness 2016-03-29
Fast food workers to strike April 1, joining Chicago teachers 'Day of Action' 2016-03-25
Map shows movements of demographic groups 2016-03-23
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com