Bike the Drive: This Sunday, May 30

Get ready for Bike the Drive, this Sunday, May 30th!  Remember, Lake Shore Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic from Bryn Mawr to 57th Street from 5:30am to 10:30am on Sunday.

Download the 2010 Bike the Drive Guide (.pdf) for route maps and event info.

Cook County Foreclosure Help

Via the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

The Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program has been introduced by the Circuit Court in order to provide free assistance for Cook County homeowners in foreclosure.  This program was established to help families attempt fair and equitable negotiations with their mortgage companies.

If the homeowner is a resident of Cook County has received a foreclosure notice from the Cook County Circuit Court and lives in the building in foreclosure (be it a single-family residence, condominium or apartment building with four or fewer units), then s/he qualifies for the mediation program.  For any foreclosure case filed on or after April 12, 2010, the summons homeowners receive will have a phone number for homeowners to call to proceed to the first step in the mediation process: a meeting with a housing counselor at 69 W Washington, Room 1303.  Walk-ins are not allowed.  The toll free help line is 877-895-2444 (312-836-5222 TDD).  Homeowners can also find more information by visiting

After meeting with the housing counselor, an on-site attorney will be available to discuss with the homeonwer the housing counselor's recommendations and prepare for a court date that will determine whether the foreclosure can proceed to mediation with the lender.  As long as the homeonwer requests mediation before judgment is entered in the foreclosure case, the request should be granted by the judge.  After a judgment is entered in the foreclosure case, whether a mediation request will be granted is up to the discretion of the judge in that case.  In addition to the support of Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF), the Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is being assisted by the Chicago Bar Foundation, Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Chicago Community Trust, the Center for Conflict Resolution, the Chicago Legal Clinic and Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

SBIF Info Meeting - May 25

The City of Chicago Department of Community Development, Alderman Helen Shiller and Alderman Mary Ann Smith are pleased to announce the availability of Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) Grants for the Lawrence Broadway Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District.

  • Wanting to remodel the exterior and interior of your business?
  • Considering expanding your business?

Grants of up to $150,000 will be available.

Attend the meeting to see if your business qualifies:

Tuesday, May 24, 2010
8:30am to 10am
Combined Insurance (former Aon Insurance)
5050 N Broadway

On-street parking or complimentary parking in structure across from building on east side of Broadway.

Meeting cohosted by Uptown Business Partners and Uptown United in partnership with SomerCor.

For more info on SBIF grants, contact SomerCor at 312.360.3300 or visit

To RSVP for meeting, call 773.878.1184 or This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Chicago Housing Authority’s Family Housing Wait List

CHA Family Wait List Lottery

For the first time in more than a decade, families in need of affordable housing will have the chance to add their names to the Chicago Housing Authority’s Family Housing Wait List – the list used to fill CHA public housing rental units as they become available.

In total, CHA will randomly select the names of 40,000 families to add to the list this year, with all names chosen through a lottery process. Families interested in this opportunity can register for the Family Housing Wait List lottery ANYTIME, from any computer or internet-enabled cell phone between June 14 and July 9, 2010. All registrations are treated equally, no matter when you apply during the open registration period. Registration is free and easy.

If you do not have a home computer, you can register online at any one of more than 100 sites scattered throughout the city. Representatives will also be on hand to offer assistance where needed. Online registration is available in English, Chinese, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu/Hindi and Vietnamese.

Everyone who submits a registration will receive a letter notifying whether or not they have been placed on the Wait List. As apartments become available, those selected for the Wait List will be contacted to determine if the available unit matches their needs and to verify eligibility. Housing types range from historical apartments in traditional CHA family housing sites, in recently rehabbed units scattered throughout virtually every community in Chicago or in newly built mixed-income developments in revitalized neighborhoods.

This is an historic opportunity for Chicagoans to take advantage of the housing CHA offers. With more than 17,000 of CHA’s 25,000 units already renovated or replaced, the Wait List Lottery gives families the ability to find quality, affordable housing in the city. For more information, visit, text “INFO” to 75309 on your mobile phone or call 1-866-7-thecha (866.784.3242) or 311.

Preparing for the Census Taker

ImageWhat to do when a census taker visits you.

If you don't send back your form, you may receive a visit from a census taker. If a census taker visits you, here's what you should do:

  • First ask to see their ID. All census workers carry official government badges marked with just their name; they may also have a "U.S. Census Bureau" bag.
  • Note that the census taker will never ask to enter your home.
  • If you're still not certain about their identity, please call the Regional Census Office (312.454.2700) to confirm they are employed by the Census Bureau.
  • Answer the census form questions for your entire household (you must be at least 15 years old to answer questions) so that the census taker can record the results for submission to the Census Bureau

Census takers visit local homes several times to capture resident information for the 2010 Census. If you prefer, you can schedule a visit with your census taker. Should the census taker come when you are away from your home, they will leave a contact number. If a census taker has not visited your home or you have a question about your participation with the census, call 1.800.923.8282. (TTY users, 1.800.877.8339)

Census takers will NOT ask for your Social Security Number.  

Help for non-English speaking respondents

Census takers will have a flashcard containing a sentence about the 2010 Census written in approximately 50 languages. If a resident doesn't speak English, the census taker shows the flashcard to the resident, and the resident points to the language he/she speaks. A census crew Leader will then reassign the case to a person who speaks that language.