During the ongoing Chicago teachers' strike much has been made of the over 16,000 homeless students in the Chicago Public School system. That large number is one of the linchpins in the union's demands for additional support staff and a written commitment from the city government to follow their plan for increasing affordable housing stock within the city.
When your average consumer of news media thinks of "homeless children" they may picture a family or group of runaway children living in a shelter, or perhaps sleeping in a car or a motel. They might even picture that stereotypical family sleeping on benches or in cardboard boxes in the street. Some of you may think back to the stories from last winter of Candice Payne, the real estate agent turned non-profit director who rented hundreds of hotel rooms for homeless people sleeping rough during our run of terribly cold weather.
But this is not the case. The majority of Chicago's homeless schoolchildren (about 88% of them) are living in a situation referred to by the federal government as "doubled up". Yes, that's an officially accepted term. It means that they're crashing with friends or family, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. Continue reading Doubled Up: The Homeless Kids Next Door
This article will go live on October 18, 2019. Chances are that Chicago teachers will still be on strike and public non-charter schools will still be closed. This means that a lot of Chicago residents will be allowing babysitters into their homes. Those babysitters will be given keys to the property which may or may not be returned when the work is finished.
According to the FBI's annual report on crimes across the nation during 2018, about 38.5% of burglaries in major metropolitan counties like Chicago had no sign of forced entry. It is very tough for the police to take action on these kinds of crimes. So today I want to start a new annual special day, to occur each year on the Friday after Columbus Day, called "Lock and Key Day".
If you've never changed your apartment locks since you moved into your apartment, I want you to take some time today to get permission from your landlord and get it done.
If you've already changed your locks, give some thought to who might have copies of your keys and get them back if you think they shouldn't still have access to your home.
If you're reading this article for the first time on some day other than Lock and Key Day, put it in your calendar or just get it out of the way now while you're thinking about it. Read on to find out why. Continue reading Do You Know Who Has Keys to Your Apartment? (Lock and Key Day)
Happy October! The 2020 Chicago rental season is now over. The wintertime heating ordinance is now in effect. Now, tuck in with a nice cup of tea because I am about to go off about the Chicago Teacher's Union and affordable housing.
"Trick or Treat!" We're all going to be hearing it soon. Small children at the door asking for candy and chanting a phrase that has lost all significance over time. Originally it was a threat: "give us food or we'll cause harm to your home." Before that, "give us food to keep the evil spirits away, because this is the time of year when the barriers between our world and the afterlife are very thin." Maybe the Chicago Teacher's Union remembers the original meaning of "Trick or Treat." They certainly are re-enacting it. "Agree to implement our plan for affordable housing citywide or we'll strike, and hundreds of thousands of babysitters will be very, very happy for several weeks."
With one week to go the CTU/City of Chicago employment contract negotiations have stalled over the teachers' demands affordable housing, not only for them but for their students. You heard me. While the specific demands of the CTU have not been revealed, we can get an idea of the scope based on their website. I will include my interpretation of their demands below, with a few personal side notes in parentheses. Continue reading The Chicago Teachers’ Union and Affordable Housing: A Rant
Sometimes you have to move to a new city in a hurry. Sometimes that city is too far away for you to make two trips out for house hunting and your actual move. We've covered relocation a little in the past before but there's a very special scenario that arises when you have to pick a new home without being able to visit any of your options in person. Today we're going to give you some pointers on how to find an apartment in a different city sight unseen.
In some cases, people who need to move in these situations can ask their employer to put them up in temporary housing until they can find new digs. Some others may have family or friends with couches or guest bedrooms that are alright for a week or two. This is not for you guys. This is for the folks who are moving on short notice with no anchors in the new city, as well as for the very kind and generous folks who are serving as proxies for them. Continue reading How to Find a Good Apartment Sight-Unseen