Skip to contents
Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

CHA Senior Building Went Without Heat For Days Over Frigid Christmas, Residents Say

The problem began when a pipe burst and flooded the lobby at Albany Terrace, a 300-unit building on the West Side. CHA officials said they worked to fix the heat Wednesday.

Residents of the Albany Terrace senior apartments were without heat for days, they said.
Trey Arline/Block Club Chicago

LITTLE VILLAGE — Residents of the Albany Terrace senior apartments, a 300-unit Chicago Housing Authority building on the West Side, were without heat for days after Christmas, they said.

Pipes burst Christmas morning in the building at 3030 W. 21st Place in Little Village, causing flooding in the lobby, residents said. It left many residents without heat as temperatures reached -8 degrees over the weekend, they said.

Charles Odum, a 10-year resident, said residents have dealt with substandard conditions at the homes for years. Odum and other residents are using their ovens to warm up, and worry they’re putting themselves in danger by doing so.

“My apartment only has heat now because we’re using the eyes of the oven and the stove,” he said.

In a statement, Karen Vaughan, deputy chief of the CHA, said they were aware of the situation and taking it seriously. CHA officials hoped to fully restore the heat by Wednesday. Residents still without heat would be offered hotel accommodations, officials said.

Odum confirmed to Block Club his heat was back on Thursday.

A $100 million renovation at Albany Terrace is slated to begin in January, according to the statement. The rehab will upgrade residential units and common spaces; improve heating, central air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems; and add a new elevator, officials said.  

“CHA takes these issues very seriously and has been working closely with building
management at Albany Terrace to resolve the concerns raised by residents,” the statement said.

Odum said the CHA has neglected the property for years. The 17-story building’s elevators are unreliable, its laundry machines are often broken and it has been the site of rodent and bed bug infestations, he said.

Odum’s son, Ifeanyi, said the difficulties seniors face because of the building’s condition are infuriating.

“It’s deplorable,” Ifeanyi said. “These people need to be compensated for the money that they’ve been spending on things that they are paying for.”

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: