City failed to address complaints before heat wave killed 3 senior residents in Rogers Park: BGA

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Saturday, July 2, 2022
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Chicago failed to address complaints by senior residents of James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park before a deadly heat wave, the BGA found.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A half dozen calls for help from a Rogers Park apartment complex went unheeded by city officials last month amid the season's first heat wave that killed three senior tenants, a Better Government Association investigation found.

SEE ALSO | Chicago weather: City Council committee passes cooling ordinance after heat deaths

City officials said there was nothing they could do, given the lack of city laws to require landlords to cool their buildings during heat waves.

The calls for help from their 120-unit James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park - logged by the city's 311-hotline set up specifically to respond to resident requests - began coming in three days before three residents were found dead. The calls were routed to two different city departments with little response, the BGA reported.

RELATED | Family of woman who died in Rogers Park's James Sneider Apartments during heat wave sues

According to records and interviews conducted by the BGA, officials at the non-for-profit property management company that owns the complex, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, denied requests - from residents and even from their alderwoman - to turn on the central air conditioning.

The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance outlining new cooling requirements in June.

Click here for the full report.