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Chicagos urban problems

Chicagos Urban Problems Like many cities, Chicago is a place of contracts between different groups: rich and poor, black and white and immigrant and non-immigrant. Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the USA. Poor people mostly live on the Southside or in the west of Chicago whereas rich neighbourhoods are situated mainly in the north. In Chicago there are some of the poorest neighboorhoods in the USA. Housing problems Like in many other American cities there is a shortage of affordable flats and houses for poor people. That`s why the largest public housing developmet in the world was initiated by Robert Taylor, the chairman of the Chicago housing authority.

     The Robert Taylor Homes cosist of twenty eight 16story apartment buildings. They were completed in 1962 with more than 4.300 units near a very busy expressway in the south of Chicago. The concentration of low income population on this isolated site led to a great number of social problems: violence, drug-abuse, shooting and etc. this situation was especially bad for the children who couldn`t play in nice playgrounds with their friends but spent their time mostly in the corridors of the high rise buildings. For this reason the town council decided to demolish this skyscraper and to transfer its inhabitans to other lodgings.

     Relocation The Relocation programme created in 1993 was called " Hope IV ". Its task was to transfer inhabitants from buildings that were going to be demolished to other flats. After that low rise buildings rise buildings of better quality were to be built on the cleared territory. Mixed up communities were created which consisted of one third of public housing, one third affordable housing and one third market rate homes. The public housing authority wanted to reduce the concentration of poverty by placing public housing in none poverty neighbourhoods or by promoting mixed up communities, this is called "scattered site "programme. But this program was very difficult to realize because white homeowners usually didn't want black housing residents as neighbours.

     The " Section F " subsidy program supports former public housing residents who find a private flat they must pay 30% of their Income as a rent. The rest is founded by the state. Crime in Chicago Criminality is still very high in Chicago, compared to Europe's standards. However the police force and other organisation have managed to reduce the number of offences in the last few years, especially the number of serious crimes has declined. There are about 600 murder, 1,800 criminal sexual assaults and 17,000 robberies. About 80% of the murders were committed with their help of firearms.

     Its obvious that in the poor districts there is much more crime than where the rich people live. Several non-profit organisations such as neighbourhood organisations or the Chicago crime commission try to protect their neighbourhoods and assist the police some of them were founded as early as the 1920s. A large percentage of the crimes in Chicago are caused by street gangs. The Chicago area gangs are divided into one of two major "nations "or "alliances ". The People and the Folks. Both alliances comprise Black, Latino and white gangs.

     In the 1980s and 1990s gangs of one " Nation " would not fight each other. But in reason times problems occurred between gangs of the same alliance and some gangs even change their nations. The main reason for this was that smaller gangs didn`t like larger gangs to control them and dictate their power over them.


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