Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Interview: Making Mixed Income Work

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Interview: Making Mixed Income Work

Article excerpt

When the troubled Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) partnered with the Habitat Company to create a resi

dential community that married higher end condominiums with homes for public housing residents, the plan seemed a vision for the future. However, making this vision a reality was a matter of careful screening, sk/led tenant relations, and long-term follow through. William Moorehead, CPM, who handled tenant relocations for the first of these mixed-income properties, shares some insights.

JPM. Would you begin by describing how your firm, William Moorehead & Associates Inc., became involved in working with the CHA to relocate residents from public housing at Cabrini Green to the mixed-income housing at Mohawk North.

Moorehead: Our company has experience managing Section 8 and other low-income housing in the neighborhood around Mohawk North, so the CHA approached us about working with families from Cabrini Green to fill the 16 available units at Mohawk North. We received preliminary screening, credit, and criminal background check reports on 72 famililes from the CHA. However, we felt that for the new residents to fit, more extensive screening was in order.

JPM.- What more did you do?

Moorehead. Just as we do for the other properties we manage, we focused our screening on home visits. We considered housekeeping and the neatness and manners of the children during the visit. Most importantly, we conducted interviews with every member of the household over two years of age. The head of the household is important, but we wanted to talk directly with everyone who would be living at Mohawk North.

I did many of these interviews myself because I wanted to tell each family member directly what was expected and what the rules are. I also found these personal, one-on-one contacts are invaluable in later follow ups with the residents. If I drive by the property, the children know who I am, and I remind them of our conversation and their responsibilities.

JPM., What other types of follow through did your company provide to new residents?

Moorehead: We have a one-year contract with the CHA to assist residents in making the transition from public housing to mixed-income living. …

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