|You too can live here!|
My wife told me that a friend of hers lived in a very expensive apartment, the Aqua Tower, in downtown Chicago that included Section 8 housing tenants. I thought she was mistaken.
And at least in Chicago, the options are for some people damned good. Much better than your humble blogger who works about 50 hours a week and is just getting by.
From Crain's Chicago Business--free registration required:
The high-rise at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive is the second-most expensive in the city, with rents for a one-bedroom apartment approaching $3,000 a month, well beyond the reach of most Chicago residents.Mistake? It's asinine!
But that's not too much for the Chicago Housing Authority, which has used federal tax dollars to pick up most of the tab for four lucky residents in the year-old building, with its sweeping views of Lake Michigan, a concierge and a dog-grooming center.
The tenants moved in over the past two years as part of a push by the CHA to expand its housing voucher program so that more low-income residents can leave the city's roughest neighborhoods and start a new life in places with low poverty and crime and close to good schools and jobs.
Yet some landlords say it's a mistake to use scarce tax dollars to pay ultra-high rents for a fortunate few when more than 15,000 people sit on the CHA's voucher waiting list.
According to Crain's, the CHA has approved of 706 "supervouchers" for fancy HUD-paid-for digs.
Back to my wife's friend at the Aqua Tower. The CHA tenants spent most of their time hanging around the pool and causing a ruckus. None of them had jobs, even though one of the goals of this ludicrously expensive program was to place people closer to where there are more jobs. And nearly everyone else living at there, my wife's friend told her, was afraid to say something to the management of the luxury building about the unruly residents because didn't want to be accused of being racist.
We live in a twisted society.
UPDATE July 29: ABC 7 Chicago ran a piece on this story. Click here to see for yourself some of these lovely buildings.
Or watch here.