Former Cabrini Green residents welcomed into new mixed-income housing complex in Old Town

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Some former residents of the Cabrini Green housing projects are returning to their own neighborhood but to new housing opportunities. (WLS)

Residents were welcomed to one of the newer public housing developments in Chicago on Wednesday.

For some, it was like a homecoming. The new complex is not far from where they once lived, in the old Cabrini Green homes.

"So this is my place," Armesha Jones said as she proudly showed off her new home.

Her Old Town one-bedroom apartment even has a view of the city skyline. It's a stark difference to the last time she lived in the area, when she a single mother of four trying to protect he kids from the real dangers in the Cabrini rowhouses.

"I couldn't sleep at night. I'm constantly worried about, is my son going to be in a gang, is he going to be one of the statistics that gets shot today," Jones said.

Jones is among residents from Cabrini Green public housing who have moved back to the same Old Town site that is now a mixed-income complex called Parkside of Old Town.

In its last years, the old Cabrini Green symbolized failed public housing. Instead of offering safety and support, the disenfranchised became more isolated.

Parkside is among the new models for public housing in Chicago with 470 units for public housing residents.

"It has changed the character of the neighborhood and it has raised the bar for where people of public housing should live in the city of Chicago," said Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th Ward.

Jones says she felt cast aside when Cabrini was torn down. Now with her children grown and successful, she says this apartment will allow her to find her success.

"I can live in this area with confidence, next door to a neighbor who probably isn't a CHA resident. I can ride with the best of them," Jones said.

The public housing residents at Parkside are also owners, owning 49 percent of the development. Jones says she is planning to start a business.

Related Topics:
realestateaffordable housingreal estate developmentChicago - Old Town
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