The Chicago Housing Authority yesterday dedicated a recently refurbished South Side senior building, located at 6360 S. Minerva, to its current longest-serving Commissioner, Dr. Mildred C. Harris.
Dr. Harris, who was initially appointed to the CHA Board of Commissioners by Mayor Richard M. Daley on July 7, 1999, is widely recognized as an influential teacher, author, pastor and board member. Dr. Harris has consistently used her platform to help serve and assist public housing residents, and particularly seniors, by contributing thousands of dollars in scholarships over the years to CHA students and pioneering many CHA-related efforts such as the “Adopt-A-Building” program, establishing a food pantry and collecting thousands of canned goods for CHA seniors..
In nearly 23 years as a member of CHA’s Board, she has not missed a single meeting.
“I am humbled and greatly touched to have this building named after me,” Dr. Harris said. “I will continue to serve the residents of this building to the best of my abilities.”
CHA CEO Tracey Scott called Dr. Harris a calming presence.
“I think she sees us all as her children,” CEO Scott said. “She’s been not just a fixture in this community, but a promoter, a mentor and coach to so many. This is just a small way to honor her.”
Angela Hurlock, the CHA’s Board of Commissioners Chairperson, said:
“Congratulations, Commissioner Dr. Harris. This is another step in your amazing journey. You prove every day that you’re an amazing leader and one of the most passionate people in your field. You have earned the spotlight to celebrate the moment.”
The dedication also marked the completion of a $4 million rehabilitation project at the Dr. Mildred Harris Apartments. That work included roof replacement, plumbing upgrades, reconfiguring the first-floor common area, elevator repair and modernization, the installation of a key fob system, new flooring, and electrical and laundry room upgrades.
That work was done under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which provides a more stable funding source to preserve public housing units and allows CHA to leverage external funds for improvements.