In October 2012 Hotel Chateau at 3838 N Broadway failed a building inspection that revealed numerous building code violations sending the building’s owner to court to possibly close Chateau’s doors for good.
Lakeview Pantry’s East site office is right across the street from Hotel Chateau and we have a steady flow of people coming in for food every week. The Pantry’s relationship with many of the residents at Chateau made us decide to have a clients meeting inform Chateau residents about what was happening to their building and the upcoming Housing Court hearing on November 13th, 2012.
Lakeview Pantry’s Education and Advocacy director Sreya Sarkar and manager of Client Services, Jenny Dwyer organized the client meeting on November 1st and the meeting was attended by several Hotel Chateau residents and some local service provider agencies.
In the meeting, Sarkar informed Chateau residents about the recent building inspection and code violations and the resulting court hearing and inquired about the residents’ thoughts on housing—challenges and needs. Dwyer shared information on available affordable housing in the area and other related services. The Pantry also invited other service provider agencies like Inspiration Corporation and EZRA to talk about their housing related services to the residents.
Lakeview Action Coalition’s Bharathi Gunasekaran was also present in the meeting and talked to residents interested in going to the November 13th Housing Court hearing.
On November 13th, 6 Chateau residents went to the Housing Court hearing and this sent out an important message to the other community members present for the hearing as well as to the judge. The message sent out was—The residents pay their rents regularly and call Chateau their home. They deserve good maintenance and services at the hotel. If the management is responsible for the building code violations then the management should change and not necessarily should the hotel close down.
Though the owner of Hotel Chateau, Jack Gore was not present since he could not be served the call to court, another court date has been set up on December 4th at 9:30am in which Gore has to be present.
The Courtroom process is repetitive and can go on for a while but the residents at the hotel need to be patient and should again show up for the next court date if they want to protect their homes.
Lakeview Pantry had reached out to Alderman Cappleman’s office a few weeks ago to encourage them to attend the November 1st client meeting. Though nobody could attend, Alderman Cappleman responded positively. He wrote to the Pantry, “I’m currently focused on making the Hotel Chateau safe for current residents; that’s my first priority. If anyone from Lakeview Pantry would like to assist us with these efforts, please let us know.”