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CHA Knew About Faulty Cabrini-Green Gates

By Prescott Carlson in News on Aug 23, 2008 9:08PM

The shoddy condition of the gates at Cabrini-Green came to public light last June when one of the heavy gates fell on a 3-year-old boy, killing him. At the time residents were insisting that the gates were an accident waiting to happen for a long time, and now they have the proof to back it up. The Tribune has obtained inspection records from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dating back to 2006 stating that the gates were in serious disrepair, and that the Chicago Housing Authority was notified of their condition. But because the gates weren't listed as "life threatening", the CHA wasn't required to act immediately to repair them so instead did -- who knows?

After being alerted to the problem, it's not clear what steps—if any—the CHA took to get the politically connected firm managing the Cabrini-Green Rowhouses to fix the gates. Urban Property Advisors, or UPA, is run by the son of developer Allison Davis, one of Mayor Richard Daley's top allies in the African-American community.

The CHA suspended UPA after the incident but continued to pay the firm, the Tribune has learned.

Suspended but still paid -- that's a sweet gig if you can get it. [Trib, S-T]