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LAC still fighting for Chateau

Thu, Mar 28, 2013

Lakeview Action Coalition protesting outside the Chateau Hotel before a press conference.

“Room for all!” “Tell the whole wide world this is people’s territory!” and “There’s no power but the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop!” were among the chants shouted outside the Chateau Hotel, 3838 N. Broadway, before a March 7 press conference there. The Chateau is the latest of several SROs in Lakeview and Uptown to be sold to an upscale developer. Its current tenants were issued 30-day eviction notices that were nearly at deadline.

But the Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) isn’t going to let them go without a fight.
The press conference included speeches by remaining tenants of the Chateau and concerned members of the community. Many tenants have already been relocated by social service agencies who had previously placed them at the Chateau.

Although the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and Catholic Charities have been helping remaining tenants with shelter placement, rental subsidies and crisis intervention, many of them want more. They say Ald. James Cappleman (46th ward) could mitigate the building owner’s fines from housing court in exchange for preserving some affordable units.
Tressa Feher, Cappleman’s chief of staff, said she was unable to respond by deadline. Earlier, she said that Cappleman did not know about the sale of the hotel until the lawyer for the owner of the new “3838 Broadway” called their office.

Rob Rohdendurg, a Chateau tenant for the past year and a half, spoke up about his love for Lakeview: “I’m a gay man who has moved here to be in a welcoming, tolerant, and diverse neighborhood with access to public transportation, stores and services…who has been kicked out in part by the actions and inactions of a gay Alderman.

“I and others who have been forced out of our home with the Chateau—including the elderly, the disabled, veterans and the working force—should be able to go to any ward in the city.”
LAC’s President and the Executive Director of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, Erin Ryan, spoke about the need for the preservation of SROs.

“The residents of the Chateau are in danger of becoming homeless today,” [Ryan said. A tragedy that can be avoided. The closing of the Chateau is just one piece of the bigger story about displacing low-income people from the North Side.

“Alderman Cappleman claims he cares about poor people because he’s a social worker, but his actions have not backed up his words. I’m a social worker myself, and Alderman Cappleman’s recent actions are totally out of step with the code of ethics that we should share as social workers. Those ethics include valuing diversity, preserving the dignity of all people—especially those that have been marginalized—and fighting for social justice.”

By Ethan Ross
StreetWise Editorial Intern

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