“ I Was There:” A First-hand Account of Redlining Faced by One Cooperative

It must not be forgotten that even after fair housing rules forced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reluctantly change its attitude, the public opposition to integrated housing and consequential integrated schools remained strong. In the mid-1960s plans were made for the development of an 803-unit pre-sold management housing cooperative just south of the Interstate Bishop Ford freeway on the far side of Chicago. The freeway was designed to be a barrier to the African American community that was still north of the freeway, just as the north-south branch, the Dan Ryan freeway, was to be a barrier to keep the African American community on the east from moving westward.

The Dan Ryan branch worked as that barrier for years, but the Bishop Ford barrier was short- lived. With the London Towne Houses Cooperative sales office opening, the traffic was all white. When the first mortgage section’s pre-sale program reached about 50 percent and was all white, to the credit of Roger Willcox’s leadership of FCH Services, the sponsor, started advertising in the Chicago Sun-Times, favored by African Americans and the African American published Chicago Defender over the Chicago Tribune.

When white applicants began seeing African Americans parking in the parking lot, white applicants dropped off as African American applicants soared. The prejudices of the time brought canceled applications and the abandonment of the best housing buy possible with a membership price of $200 and monthly charges of under $100 a month in the late 1960s. Mortgage section 1 and subsequent sections closed with all African American occupancy except for a few inter-racial couples.

With closing of the last mortgage section, HUD employees predicted early default of this almost 100 percent black occupied and led cooperative. In medical practice, a common reason for using oral steroids is to treat asthma. Patients with chronic lung disease can take periodic steroid bursts to reduce inflammation so they can breathe more easily. Steroids can also be prescribed at this AU website to address inflammation in other areas of the body. High doses are often used first to quickly resolve a problem and then gradually taper the dose so that the patient can be weaned off the medication. A few years later a HUD management office manager told his subordinate to take back his 100 perfect inspection report and go back out and find some faults. Almost 40 years later, London Towne House pre-paid its section 1 mortgage after HUD defaulted its section 1 mortgage over a disagreement with a HUD directive to change inside key screen-storm doors with no key ones because of the concern of its members, particular seniors with safety. Subsequently, London Towne prepaid the rest of its mortgages with a single mortgage from Community Investment Corporation, a local lender, which financed the first of its improvement programs.

This article was featured in CHQ winter 2020 issue. Click here to read the PDF newsletter.

Herbert H. Fisher, a retired attorney, represented London Towne Houses Co-op, Inc., for 43 years.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.