Comcast proposal doesn't match Oak Park's values

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Demetrios Pappageorge

Dan, I concur with much of your column entitled "All kinds of housing" [Dan Haley, April 20]. Indeed, Oak Park has made room for all sorts of people who are in need. One home here, several apartments there. It has been an organic system that has offered people the dignity and ability to plug into a neighborhood one person or family at a time. Because of our success, we have far more subsidized units than all our neighboring suburbs combined. For that we should very proud.

And when you say you "can't even pick out which house it is," you are right. That allows everyone to feel like they are "home."

I have proudly called Oak Park home for 18 years. My wife and I chose to raise our children in Oak Park because of its remarkable values including assured diversity, mutual respect and your notion that people-of-need be "scattered across the village" as you say and folded into the fabric of this community as full members of their neighborhoods. That has made it feel like home. Thus far, people have not been boxed into tiny units on a busy street, told they should not own cars and relegated to a large, crowded building like the public housing being torn down all over the country. That would not be "home."

As for "the process," a home is also where people should listen to each other — a place where respect is afforded to everyone, and there is no name-calling. One's home should not be like the school playground where a handful of "cool kids" push their agenda onto the others by bullying them into silence, relegating one group of needy kids to the sandbox to "live" while refusing to listen to the majority who have been playing peacefully with everyone for years.

Home is also not a place where neighbors are shamed, labeled and censored for having different perspectives on how best to help those who need affordable housing. Our hometown embraces diversity, but how much diversity of thought do we really allow when only three people are allowed to speak in opposition to the Interfaith project at the village board? How much diversity of thought is there when we are rushing forward with the first idea for this site? How much diversity of thought is there when our board is made up of only one party? How many low-income people, minorities or Republicans are on our board? And how many people have really looked at the facts about this plan and how it attempts to give huge tax credits to multinational companies like BP or Exxon for 40 years. Or that each unit will cost in excess of $300,000 while numerous houses and apartments remain empty that could house entire families who need subsidies, rather than squeezing individuals into tiny dorm-sized units?

Yes, I'm with you, Dan. We need to make sure Oak Park remains "home" for all kinds of people. Let's make sure we don't limit their access to quality jobs by limiting their transportation options. And rather than segregating our future Oak Parkers, let's make sure we surround each one with established neighbors who can successfully integrate them into neighborhoods all over the community. Then it will continue to feel like home.

Demetrios Pappageorge is an Oak Park resident, former resident manager of one of Oak Park Resident Corporation's Oak Park apartment buildings and neighbor of the vacant Comcast building at 820 W. Madison.

Reader Comments

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Posted: May 15th, 2011 4:00 PM


kathleen from OP  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 2:30 PM

I've contacted the trustees with my opinion on this project. Have you?


Posted: May 1st, 2011 12:05 AM

Its NOT my Back Yard

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 8:55 PM

OP - you should have seen the inside! I was certain you were there since you are always advocating we all should get out and attend meeting and get to know what is going on it the village. Guess the subject is just not that important enough to waste a Saturday morning.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 8:24 PM

Not this OP john. I did drive by both and saw them last week. Very nice buildings from outside. I think the board will recognize the larger community of Oak Park that will surround this one and see it to be an advantage for the project.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 5:21 PM

There was a sighting of OP at the Board's visit to Interfaith Bldgs this morning. Seem in fine spirit.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 5:16 PM

marco, you must look at the entire lifespan of the building and take into account the countless lives it will help. Now it looks like money well spent.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 2:52 PM

C'mon OP. The average rent in Oak Park is not that much more for the same square fottage that your are offering. Why don't you save 15 mil. and build a nice community center where they can get their help and still live in the town. Maybe even throw in some bus and train passes, still money ahead.


Posted: April 30th, 2011 1:08 PM

People tend to revert to crime when they don't have something. In this buildings case, if you keep ALL the residents rent LOW( the idea), there isn't the pressure for the folks to worry about how to pay their rents. If there are staff that can assists these people in finding work, that lessens the risk of them turning to crime to get money to pay basic bills. If they are drug addicts, they are not welcome. Crime for money to buy drugs shouldn't be a factor here. Gangs unwelcome too

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 12:51 PM

Pres Pope Validation and Apologize -- Pres Pope has posted many times and has left his telephone number on occasions. Last week he posted that he needed some additional info on an issue I raised. The very next post was from Pres Pope. He wrote that I need not call since he had found the info. I called anyway. Today I took the board tour of Interfaith bldgs. Pres Pope told me he had looked into my issue and gave me feedback. That confirmed to doubting me that the post and tel no. were real.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 12:37 PM

I would recommend that anyone for or against this project go on the tour - there will be another one next week. The best way to have an elevated discussion about this and true impacts to the community (positive and negative) is to know what we're talking about vs. speculating. Read Mr. Pappageorge's piece again too and consider the fact that - like Libbey Paul said - he's lived it so knows more than many.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 7:10 AM

Epic- you only play the race card. I assume you think that this building will be made up of mostly african americans. I don't, I am against this project because it is poor long term planning. However, if you do think the building will have a this high concentration, YOU should be against the project. This concentration of one race would be against Oak Park's diversity statement.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 30th, 2011 2:10 AM

It's only a matter for time before the project opponents demand to see the long form birth certificate.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 11:32 PM

It is unlikely that HUD will give the village a 50 percent plus resident and workers allocation of units at Comcast. If that battle with HUD was won, HUD is unlikely to change it rule that does accept residents currently living with parents, friends, or in care centers in Supportive Housing Bldgs. Considering the HUD hurdles, and if OP truly needs the units in the one building, perhaps OP should form a foundation and build the housing itself. Other cities have done so. The advantage - NO HUD!

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 10:18 PM

OP's Question: If its not about low income- WHAT IS IT ABOUT? It about "no income" There is no requirement that a person be employed or earn a wage. The only monetary qualifiers are 1) They cannot make more than 26,400 dollars, 2) They must pay their 706 dollar monthly rent!

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:37 PM

OP - We all think Interfaith is a quality organization, that will try and manage the building well. Do you think that are any problems in some of Interfaith's buildings? There are. Do you think there are problems in some of OP's buildings? There are. This is why a mixed income development makes more sense. Other residents could give more support.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:32 PM

cont. you again try to paint anyone who opposes this as close minded, heartless people who think all low income people are criminals, but again that's not what this opposition is about. It's about systems that allow for more crime to happen for whatever reason. Like I and others have said, mixing low income residents in with various income levels has worked in Oak Park. Why fix something when it's not broken?

OP Guy  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:28 PM

OP, you're over simplifying the matter. You can't just say it is or is not about low income because there are other forces that determine if a system works. It's NOT about not giving low income residents housing, it's about finding the most successful system to allow for that to happen. So far (apart from the senior and disabled buildings), many other "projects" that cram a building full of low income people have had high crime rates, gangs, drug dealing etc...


Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:05 PM

If its not about low income- WHAT IS IT ABOUT. Hello . Ive been stating that from the start. Some how people think LOW income single men are criminal? Then why all the poo poo. How is any person of that demographic suppose to improve if not given a start. This is that start. If managed properly, I dont see why all these young HUMANS with lower than normal income cant be productive neighbors and citizens. How are we as a society suppose to progress forward with all the history of yuck.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 8:32 PM

Please email your concerns to the trustees Request that they fully explore all the issues. There are already stresses with our current housing system. I also have to believe this will be another tax drain on our village. Neighborhood impact studies, financial studies for both business and school districts are needed. This project does not encourage the business development that the Trustees are planning for on Madison, which is desperately needed.

Libbey Paul from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 6:06 PM

I have to say, Mr. Pappageorge has convinced me in this One View. Seems he has a lot of direct experience as a former resident manager that informs his point of view. Beyond seniors and those with disabilities, what are the examples where segregated versus mixed income has worked? It is a pity that his and other neighbors' opposition has been labeled NIMBY or anti-low income. I say we give this plan a re-do.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 4:28 PM

OP, Oak Park ALREADY has a system that works! Seems like you're trying to paint people who oppose the project as less caring for the "less fortunate" - this is furthest from the truth from what I've read here and from how I feel. We want systems that have been proven to work in this village, not models that have more in common with systems that have failed - that would do nobody any good, the "less fortunate" included.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 4:22 PM

OP, this issue isn't "purely" about income, so no, the current housing projects in Oak Park ARE NOT THE SAME as the proposed project. Staking a bunch of elderly and disabled low income folk in 1 build is NOT the same as sticking low income young men in a building. I don't know how much more I need to spell it out. Income low maybe the same, but THAT's not the whole issue here, and it's already been clearly stated. The proposed model has more in common with Cabrini than the current Oak Park ones.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 3:40 PM

OP - all of the people won't be working. They all will have income, there is a difference. The live/work preference is not applied to the whole building. What percentage will be working, we don't know. The percentage of the building that the preference is applied has not yet been determined.


Posted: April 29th, 2011 3:23 PM

Someone has also used OP. I didnt post about welfare moms. These folks will be working people. OPG: They ARE THE SAME when it comes to their income levels!!! I keep hearing a distinction with this project ONLY becasue they are less fortunate. If this was a "normal income" housing project , I'm sure there wouldn't be the same objections. Poor people stacked on top of one another doesn't fail in OP. We have highrise buildings with low income people and IT WORKS. That is the only similarity.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 2:39 PM

OP - Interfaith stated in their testimony that they do NOT expect welfare mom's to move into this project. The space is too small and, per Gladys Johnson of Interfaith also indicated that the location is not appropriate to children.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 2:12 PM


Violet Aura  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 12:44 PM

It's not a matter of disliking children but if those children are not being properly raised, it becomes an issue very quickly! In the last suburb in which I resided, an influx of people brought habits like allowing kids to roam the streets late at night. One little boy we found after he lit a firecracker in the alley below! I could not understand how parents could let such young kids loose with no supervision but whoop there it is...


Posted: April 29th, 2011 12:21 PM

Welfare moms are the target for the Madison Project. Welfare moms receive welfare payments, food stamps and Medicaid. The poor elderly/disabled receive social security and Medicare. The money is the same. The new group is younger and with children. Who does not like children?


Posted: April 29th, 2011 10:19 AM

PMOS, Those others you speak of are good opportunities for future developments in OP. Your right.


Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:51 AM

If you say again, I say, these developments are affordable housing for seniors/disabled - populations that most need assistance in Oak Park. In a 2010 report, Oak Park's Housing Program Advisory Committee stated that additional housing is needed for low income seniors and the disabled. Nowhere in the report are low-income singles seeking permanent housing identified as a high-priority need in Oak Park. If we're going to use the money, let's use it wisely.


Posted: April 29th, 2011 9:06 AM

OPG, Sorry to say this AGAIN, but when it comes to INCOME...I repeat INCOME, Heritage House, Mills Tower and The Oaks ARE THE SAME. Affordabale housing under one roof. (and to boot they have MORE residents and MORE floors than this project)

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 7:53 AM

OP Resident - I recall that Comcast pays around $85k per year in tax. The development would pay taxes, and it's estimated that the building would represent an increase of around $25k from the current tax base. $25k doesn't begin to cover the impact of 51-102 residents on the community. Interfaith's desire for this building is due to the fine print around the pork barrel fed $$$. Sort of ridiculous to waste $15 million on THIS building when there's plenty of inventory sitting vacant in OP.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 1:41 AM

How much property tax was paid by Comcast? I'm concerned about having so many tax-exempt properties along Madison St. The board is considering plans to revitalize the strip. With proposed changes in liquor laws we might attract a sports bar or music club. Fitzgerald's North ? Has InterFaith looked at the apartment building on Garfield just east of Lombard that's been vacant for years? Seems to be in good shape. Plus,it's close to public transportation, schools, dining, shopping and Barrie Park.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:34 PM

Here we go again... It keeps being mentioned to you, senior and handy-cap buildings aren't even close to the proposed project.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:29 PM

Heritage House, Mills and Oaks are ALL low income and racially diverse.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:26 PM

It will be the only building full of low income people, surrounded by the rest of Oak Park. No, that's not what I call a diverse mixing of people. Keep deluding yourself if think that type of system is not going to bring about segregation. Cabrini Green was in walking proximity to some very affluent areas, and look how wonderful that turned out. BTW, still waiting for your list...


Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:17 PM

Look at all the NEW developments in OP and where do we see income diversity? Its time to take a look at who and what we really stand for.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:14 PM

The Robt Taylor Homes and Cabrini Green were NOT diverse. Oak Park is DIVERSE. Having a building on a block with ALL kinds of incomes IS diverse. Having a building in a community of ALL kinds is diverse. No? To me its not about this one building- its about this ONE building among other buildings in this Village. There can be a FULL building of affordable apts with tenants of All kinds: gay, straight, black , white , etc.

E. Jackson  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 10:49 PM

..The Lark.. Thoughtful discussion will be ignored for 30 minutes and then pick the low fruit or maybe pick the scabs for motives unknown...The Lark..

OP to OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 10:27 PM

There's a huge difference between "low-income" and "no-income". Stacking people on top of each with no income, no hope, no vision, no self-esteem, and no way up, is a failed model. And failed right after it was created, remember "Good Times", that was on in the seventies, 40 years ago. I'm all for low-income, because a job builds self-worth. As long as the folks are working I'm all for this project but not for a creating another "project".

Craig Chesney  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 10:22 PM

OP-The Heritage, Mills Tower, and The Oaks, were built as of 1989. After the 1990 Comprehensive Plan was adopted, there was a concerted effort to mix voucher recipients into various buildings. This has worked. We should have the Comcast project house low-income, and middle income residents. This would be continuing the same practice for our community, one that you and I are proud of.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:54 PM

Still waiting for your list, waiting, waiting etc...

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:53 PM

Fun OP, you want to talk about segregation, look at what Taylor Homes etc... are, not exactly the melting pot of diversity. Apples and apples? Heritage house, Mills Tower? You're joking right?


Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:44 PM

Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini Green. Just like I said. Apples to Apples. Perfect comparisons. How did I miss that.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:42 PM

So why is there a problem with a building with 100% affordability? Answer that directly? That was the spirit of Mills Tower, The Oaks, Heritage House, Etc....Its a new day

Chris Koertge  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:41 PM

OP: "Filling a building with low income residents has failed time and time again. WHERE?" Robert Taylor Homes Cabrini Green Need more?

E. Jackson  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:35 PM

Intermission....The Lark...Intermission over.

Craig Chesney  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:12 PM

OP-The difference is what Oak Park has been successful at. We have woven all sorts of housing througout our village. Mills Tower and the Oaks were built first. Then the 1990 Comprehensive Plan suggested 10-20% of developments be affordable. And, since then, the preferred method has been integrating afordable housing with market rate units, not single site. The spirit of the plan was to avoid "block by block segregation" or to intensify a LI area, or have a building with the stigma of low-income.

OP resident  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:09 PM

Right on target again OP!! It's definitely segregating.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:05 PM

Seems to me people of like backgrounds would have something in common.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:01 PM

Fail again. Not quite sure you are making your point. FAIL how? Define FAILURE please. So your logic is to make the assumption that low income people CANT live together?? Hmmmm Seems pretty segregating. Almost like the 50's. Backwards not Forwards people.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:58 PM

Like I said, give me your exhaustive list of successes that follow the model of filling building fill of low income people, then I'll give mind to counter it with my list. Still waiting, waiting...

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:56 PM

OP, like I've said over and over and over... the "projects" that have failed all have one thing in common, they/were all filled with low income. The one's that work in Oak Park have mixed income. I don't need to try to convince you, it's part of history. LOL, you're the one that's failing to give any kind of substantial argument, not doing your side any favors.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:51 PM

Another OPG's famous quotes"Filling a building with low income residents has failed time and time again. " WHERE? WHAT YR? MORE INFO?

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:49 PM

Yes, "HUMANS" within a flawed system.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:49 PM

Why does it matter whether you have one out of three low income people or 20 out of 20? You havent convinced me that it will some how destruct because there are LOW INCOME humans in there. Help please. Not making a good case for your side

OP resident  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:44 PM

Beat me to the punch. It is for humans. Win win win!!!

Angry Birds  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:42 PM

But there are HUMANS that will live there!

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:38 PM

OP, the "real issues" have already been stated. Filling a building with low income residents has failed time and time again. Oak Parks method of mixing people of different income levels has worked time and time again. What exactly is not clear?


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:25 PM

I've only seen you use OPHA when it comes to their general policies. What is their stance on this project? I'm sure Ed Sloan would be in favor of this. Hmmm strange bedfellows you THINK you have!


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:21 PM

Low rent is RIGHT. What is the going rent at the YMCA these days? Maybe john you could be the accountant on staff at the building and help these people out with their finances. According to you they don't make enough money for buying anything, yet there's not enough parking for cars they couldn't afford? Make up your minds people. Those are all decoys. Whats the real issues?


Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:35 PM

You guys are on fire. I hope the powers that be are reading this. I glad O.P. is keeping her anonymity, makes it more fun.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:14 PM

CHEAP RENT Are you kidding OP? Or are you one of those rich OP'ers that lost touch with the reality of low income people. The maximum gross wage for a resident of the Mad Devel is 26,100 dollars. The $706 rent for a person at the max. is 33% of their gross. For someone earning minimum wage and working 8 hrs a day, 52 weeks a year, the luxurious 450 sq ft Comcast Apartment would be 50% of his or her gross income. I know you prefer morality fantasies, but there is a reality for low wager.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 5:08 PM

Issues cont: The OPHA states on their website, "The OPHA asks that owners rent not more than 25% of their building's units to families that participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program." Ed Solan, Exec. Dir. of the OPHA and Exec. Dir., OP Residence Corporation (a partner on the project) stated that this 25% policy was to limit concentrations and increase geographic dispersion of those who need housing assistance. This plan is directly contrary to the policies of the OPHA.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:53 PM

Not a mix of incomes, doesn't give preference for disablilities, commercial space is an afterthought, Interfaith has no retail experience, won't get great commercial anchor without dedicated parking. No preference for tenants has been established for the building at this point.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:40 PM

Issues Cont: This is not like Mills Tower The Oaks, Ryan Farrelly Apartments, or the Heritage House. They are affordable housing for seniors/disabled - populations that most need assistance in Oak Park. %u2022In a 2010 report, Oak Park's Housing Program Advisory Committee stated that additional housing is needed for low income seniors and the disabled.%u2022Nowhere in the report are low-income singles seeking permanent housing identified as a high-priority need in Oak Park.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:38 PM

Issues: %u2022The developer's consultant, SRS Real Estate Partners, has acknowledged there is a "medium to high risk of failure" for the commercial element. %u2022There are 32 spots approved for a building that would typically require 73 spots. %u2022This decision was based on two (highly questionable) assumptions: low-income residents will not have cars and a scarcity of spaces will discourage people from driving.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:09 PM

Way to go john. You seem to have voted for the right people! Now your learning

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:08 PM

OP, I don't see how I lost. I voted for the D97 referendum and it won. YEAH! Through the entire campaign, only one candidate came out in favor of the Madison Development and she lost. Seems to me, I was 2-0!


Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:07 PM

OPG I miss out your point on how it wont work becasue they are all in one building? It will be managed affordable housing under one roof?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:05 PM

Well said OP Guy. Like I said recently...OP, if you have anything other than "Nanny nanny poo poo, you are a NIMBY, you don't care for HUMANS" to say I am waiting anxiously to hear it.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:04 PM

Cheap rent, new apt, great Village, close to public transportation, great organization at Interfaith, great building design, close to food shopping and close to work. What not to like.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:55 PM

OP, the "issue" is not "low income", the issue is what works vs what doesn't. Opposing this project doesn't mean you don't care about the poor, complete opposite actually. I'd like to see more of what Oak Park has already done in terms of mixing low, middle and high income. THAT WORKS!


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:50 PM

OPG, Does low income humans work for you? Too broad ? The key issue is low income.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:48 PM

I know john we must all learn something from you, the master, when it comes to good govt process. GUILTY on all counts. I respect your honesty john. The election is over and you all said THIS was a single issue election. Well guess what? The election is over and you lost. Thats democracy.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:45 PM

There are plenty of examples where buildings full of only low income residents have failed. Since I asked you the question first, I'll wait for you to present your extensive list of "projects" that have been so successful, then I'll present my list. And no, low income senior and handicap housing DO NOT count.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:44 PM

OK, you can call me a Nimby, say I am an elitist, say my house value is my issue, accuses me of having no empathy with the poor - I accept all that. You can take the high moral ground and treat anyone opposed to the project as dirt. I can accept that too. What I can't accept is that your views are totally political and support the worst development plan that the village has ever encountered. Who resides in the building is not the issue. The issue is a bad govt process that reeks of collusion.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:36 PM

OP. This is more similiar than it is not. Plus. We asked you first. Answering a question with a question...does that mean you don't have an answer?


Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:28 PM

Show me apples to apples all these FAILED models. No.... you CANT use Cabrini green.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:10 PM

OP, as Ken has mentioned, Heritage and Mills are NOT the same as this "project". I would also like to hear you lay out all the "major" differences between this "project" and all the other "projects" that have failed so miserably. Like I've stated, I've got nothing against low income house. Oak Park HAS a great model for what works. This "project" shows no benefits over the current model, and plenty of negatives.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:35 AM

OP, can you expand on that? Examples of how it's different?


Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:22 AM

Ken, Clearly the model in which you say has failed is very different than this model that interfaith is using and presenting. The Sec 8 program is useful. This project is unique and offers more opportunity for the residents or participants to grow and get off of needed assistance.

Ken from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 7:10 AM

OP - Heritage and Mills both house low-income seniors--very different than this project. Can you see that historically placing all low income in a high density setting is a failed model? Why do you think Oak Park Housing Authority recommends to building owners "The OPHA asks that owners rent not more then 25% of their building's units to families that participate in the Housing Choice Voucher [section 8] Program." Looks like they are trying to avoid large concentrations of low income residents.


Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:52 AM

Whats wrong with having an entire building with affordable housing like Mills tower or Heritage house? Works there.

OP Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:41 AM

Re: OP. Are you suggesting that supporting diversity means creating this "project"? Because I don't. "projects" similar to this have been proven to result in disaster, and do nothing more than to further segregate the poor. Embracing diversity in Oak Park has worked by mixing different income levels, not by sticking all the poor people in 1 building.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:42 PM

For ALL those that feel Oak Park is a welcoming community to ALL kinds, both rich and poor, please continue to support the efforts of this project by writing letters to the WJ. We pride ourselves on diversity and this is a real example of how we can diversify. The process is what will make it a better project. Thanks


Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:25 PM

If you agree with Mr. Pappageorge and want to volunteer your time, please visit and click the "volunteer" link.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 11:55 AM

OK, I am biased on this issue, but with all biases aside I think Mr. Pappageorge did an excellent job of expressing Oak Park's culture and values and made a strong case for resident taking another look at the development.


Posted: April 27th, 2011 12:59 AM

Oak Park can find a way to house HUMANS who may not have as much as some. Yes we can!

OP Guy  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 12:50 AM

I agree with the article. Oak Park has been very successful in embracing people from all economic backgrounds, something that few other suburbs (or the city) have achieved. It's found a system that works, and is better off for it. The "projects" throughout the city have been complete disasters... I hope Oak Park is smart enough to not make the same mistakes. If it's not broken, don't fix it!

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