Last week, HSPRD along with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Chicago public housing residents against the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). The lawsuit accuses CHA of shortchanging the tenants on their utility allowances and, as a result, overcharging them for rent. Four current CHA residents filed the lawsuit, and they are represented by HSPRD attorneys Matthew Piers and Christopher Wilmes.
The Chicago Tribune chronicled an exclusive article about the lawsuit. The article says that CHA has evicted residents for not paying utilities but has not increased their utility allowance since 2007 despite hikes in electric and gas rates. In addition to seeking an updated utility allowance formula, the residents want CHA to pay them back for the years of overcharges and accommodate residents who were evicted for failing to pay their electric bills. Three of the four residents named in the lawsuit are disabled, and three of them live in senior public housing buildings.