Founded in 1996, in response to the federal mandate to demolish more than 100,000 units of public housing nationwide- 18,000 of those units in Chicago, affecting the lives of 42,000 people- The Coalition to Protect Public Housing (CPPH) is an advocacy group of public housing residents, community-based organizations, religious institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Community Renewal Society, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Metropolitan Tenants Organization all working to protect the rights of public housing and to ensure the future of public housing.CPPH strategically advocates against the institutionalized techniques of Congress, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in their "reformation of public housing communities," which CPPH believes can only lead to increased homelessness.
- Congress has reduced its funding of public housing.
Money intended for rehabilitation and repairs is being spent to demolish.
Families are being displaced from their homes, allowing private developers to demolish public housing developments and replace them with moderate, market rate housing that is not affordable to current residents.
- CHA's use of the Section 8 voucher as the primary tool for housing displaced residents is ineffective. For every 2 low income renters, there is only 1 low income unit available. As many as 30% of tenants using vouchers are unable to find suitable homes for their families.
The Coalition to Protect Public Housing works to end residential apartheid. In the midst of this national disgrace, CPPH, first, works to give the public housing crisis a moral voice by seeking action and involvement from our interfaith network including, the Greek Orthodox Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal church. Secondly, CPPH works through education and demonstration. The coalition introduces and informs communities and individuals in the Chicago metropolitan area about this crisis. CPPH has had a petition drive, held public hearings with CHA and HUD, and protests at the Governor’s office. Thirdly, CPPH works through prayer. The coalition has led prayer vigils at several public housing sites with a growing number of local and regional religious leaders. Finally, CPPH works through direct negotiations with those that have been involved in demolition plans. The coalition has met with the Chief Executive Officer of CHA, Philip Jackson and has negotiated with the federal and local offices of HUD in an effort to develop a legally binding contract that will safeguard the residents.The Coalition to Protect Public Housing has a moral obligation to ensure that comprehensive public housing redevelopment plans are developed that guarantee the human right to have housing for citizens who cannot afford the private rental market.The coalition is working to CHANGE THE LAW and is DEMANDING:
- Congressional hearings in Chicago to have the city declared a disaster area.
A halt to demolition and Section 8 distribution until housing can be guaranteed to all residents.
Repairs to ensure that all buildings are weatherized and livable for the winter.
A commitment to rebuild public housing on their current sites.
- All replacement housing must be built to be accessible to the physically challenged.
For details, contact the coalition at the address and phone listed here.