East Chicago residents will get more time, help and money to move out of a lead-contaminated public housing complex.
The federal government announced a plan on Friday Nov. 4 to make sure all the affected current and former residents of West Calumet Housing Complex have their needs met.
It’s a settlement with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, which had filed a complaint for residents with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
HUD spokesman Jerry Brown says, “People need more time — we’re going to be as flexible as possible. This is to resolve all the issues, so that people will be able to, unfortunately have to move, but to make this move as smoothly as possible for the families.”
The agreement doesn’t mean HUD found that the initial relocation process was discriminatory, which was the Shriver Center’s main allegation.
Instead, the agreement addresses the most pressing issues, such as time. It says families will get at least until the end of the year, with several months extensions, to find new homes. If they need more time, it requires the East Chicago Housing Authority to move them into temporary housing.
But Brown notes no demolition date has been set for the contaminated complex, and it’s not likely to happen over the winter. He says residents should have as much time as they need.
There will be updates to this story as more information becomes available.