When Richard Wheelock took his first job out of law school, he became “the classic, storefront legal-aid attorney” who toiled out of a gritty office on the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street.
In the decades since, Wheelock has made a name for himself as a staunch advocate for the rights of public housing residents. Along the way, he has played a unique role in shaping city policies by holding city officials accountable on plans–both big and small–for overhauling public housing.
Wheelock, who is representing tenants in a planning group that’s debating the future of the Cabrini rowhouses, is pressing for the sites to be rehabbed and rented to working-poor families. Which way it’ll go, he said, depends on how the CHA decides to answer this question: “Do we build new housing in neighborhoods with resources? Or do we build a fraction of the units we could in favor of mixed income and then ship the rest off to low-income segregated areas?”