NW side churches protest CHA’s Lathrop Homes handling


CHICAGO — Pastors and parishioners from a pair of Northwest side churches gathered Saturday to protest what they said was the Chicago Housing Authority’s lack of development in the Lathrop neighborhood.

“We will be going throughout this community of Lathrop, and we will see that there are many, many families still waiting for housing, still searching, and still not finding what they need,” said Reverend Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ.

While the phased, mixed-income redevelopment of the historic Lathrop Homes completed phase one of the project back in 2019, there still sits nearly a dozen vacant Lathrop buildings South of Diversey Avenue.

“These buildings continue to be dilapidated more and more and are going to need further money,” said Reverend Paula Cripps of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church. “Most importantly, we see that low income Black and brown families do not have the housing they need on the North Side of Chicago.”

A spokesperson with the CHA said the organization is making ‘significant progress’ at Lathrop.

After the first phase was finished in 2019, the Lathrop project continued on and plans to have almost 500 units split between market rate, affordable and public housing units by the end of this year, with hundreds more planned over the next three years, according to the spokesperson.

“We need more affordable housing, not market rate,” said Jose Zayas, a former resident of Lathrop Homes. “I just think in terms of accountability — our public servants, our mayor, CHA — how can they not know, going through different parts of the city and seeing many people living in tents? To me, that’s shameful.”

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