Chicago housing voucher participants living in luxury

By John O'Brien | Sep 8, 2014

CHICAGO – Information collected from the Chicago Housing Authority shows low-income families who are participating in a rent voucher program are living in some of Chicago’s most luxurious apartment buildings.

In August, the CHA announced it was making changes to its Housing Choice Voucher program, two weeks after a Chicago Business article reported that federal funds administered by CHA were being used to place low-income families in apartments with rents up to $3,000 per month.

The situation caught the eye of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., who is seeking an investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the report noted.

The CHA announced Aug. 17 that recipients of housing choice vouchers will receive up to 150 percent of HUD’s fair market rent, down from 300 percent.

Legal Newsline submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the CHA seeking the names and addresses of the approximately 260 families taking part in the voucher program. In response, the CHA disclosed the addresses but not the names of the families.

Families affected by the change will have at least one year to move.

The following is a list of some of the more noteworthy Chicago buildings in which those families live:

1255 S. Michigan Ave.

The 40-story building was built in 2007. The units at are available for rent from $1,328 to $4,236 per month. Amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, game room, on-site grocery store and "stunning panoramic city and lake views."

1235 South Prairie Ave.

The 36-story, 276-unit condominium building has views of the lake, park and harbor. The building has doormen. Rent is estimated at $2,750 per month and units sell for between $584,900 and $699,000. It was built in 2006.

1720 S. Michigan Ave.

The 33-story, 498-unit building was built in 2008. Units feature stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and hardwood floors. Units are usually priced at between $1,550 and $2,450 per month and sell for $208,000 to $417,000.

1918 S. Michigan Ave.

The "spacious" loft-style condos have exposed brick, high ceilings and large windows. The building was built in 1903 and remodeled in 1999. The average price for a condo is $464,915 with rent estimated at $1,768 per month.

233 E. Erie St.

The 26-story, 160-unit building was built in 1972 and is newly-remodeled. Units are usually priced between $1,500 and $2,600 per month, and typically sell for between $194,000 and $245,000. The building offers a 24-hour doorman.

303 W. Ohio St.

Silver Tower is a new, contemporary glass tower in River North with skyline views. The building was built in 2009 and features 24-hour doormen, stainless steel appliances, contemporary maple or cherry cabinets, marble baths and balconies. The average unit price is $885,134 and the average rent is $2,770.

500 N. Lake Shore Drive

The 47-story, 500-unit building was completed in 2013. Amenities include a fitness center, spa and sauna, library, private screening room and game room. Apartments cost between $1,935 and $4,195 per month.

201 N. Westshore Dr.

The 207-unit building was built in 2005. Units are priced at approximately $562,205 and rent estimates are $2,735. Amenities include a fitness center and a 24-hour doorman with units featuring granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors.

160 E. Illinois St.

The 130-unit building was built in 2007. Units are priced between $300,000 and $1.6 million. Amenities include a doorman, fitness center, dry cleaner and sun deck. Units include hardwood floors, granite countertops, marble baths and floor-to-ceiling windows.

345 E. Ohio St.

The 50-story building offers units ranging in rent from $1,467 to $4,680. Amenities include weekly maid service and a fitness center. Unites include floor-to-ceiling windows and granite countertops.

441 E. Erie St.

The units range in price from $1,420 to $4,225 per month. This 615-unit building has amenities that include vinyl wood plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, ceramic tiled bathrooms and 24-hour door attendants. It was built in 1986.

225 N. Columbus Dr.

This 474-unit building includes apartments ranging in rent from $2,091 to $3,237.  Amenities include 24-hour maintenance and door staff, a media center. movie theater, pool and fitness center with stainless steel appliances in the units. It was built in 2009.

175 N. Harbor Dr.

The 600-unit building includes a 24-hour doorman, business center, library and fitness classes. The building was built in 1989 and remodeled in 2014. Units range in cost from $1,365 to $3,760.

440 N. Wabash Ave.

The 50-story building's amenities include 24-hour door staff, sun deck, pool, fitness center and business center. Rents range from $1,300 to $3,000. The building was built in 1992.

Editor’s notes: Kyla Asbury contributed to this report. Legal Newsline is part of the Record family of publications.

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