A half dozen calls for help from a Rogers Park apartment complex went unheeded by city officials last month amid the season’s first heat wave that killed three senior tenants, a Better Government Association investigation found.
City officials said there was nothing they could do, given the lack of city laws to require landlords to cool their buildings during heat waves.
The calls for help from their 120-unit James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park – logged by the city’s 311-hotline set up specifically to respond to resident requests – began coming in three days before three residents were found dead. The calls were routed to two different city departments with little response, the BGA reported.
According to records and interviews conducted by the BGA, officials at the non-for-profit property management company that owns the complex, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, denied requests – from residents and even from their alderwoman – to turn on the central air conditioning.
The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance outlining new cooling requirements in June.