Frances Funches with Tommy Simmons & friends at a press conference on the property where her house recently stood, until it was torn down by the city. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)
Frances Funches owns a property in Austin near Parkside and Division Street. Recently, the house caught fire and was damaged. Her insurance company sent out an adjuster and agreed to pay for the necessary repairs. Ms Funches found a tenant ready to rent an apartment in the building when it was restored.
Frances Funches surrounded by friends & supporters on land that used to contain her building. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)
However, before the repairs were begun, the City of Chicago apparently put the house on fast track for demolition and it was torn down. The city did not notify Ms Funches of its intention to tear down the house or give her an opportunity to appeal and file her plans to make the building habitable again. A spokesman for the city said they try to notify the owners in cases like this but cannot always find them. Ms Funches suggests that they could have checked her deed or her property tax information to find her.People gather on the property where Frances Funches’ house used to stand. After tearing it down, city crews bulldozed the lot to remove all traces of the house. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)
Ms Funches says she was unable to receive any assistance from Alderman Deborah Graham and reached out to Tommy Simmons of Citizens For A Better Westside for help. Last week, she held a press conference on the empty lot where her house once stood to protest the city’s action. She has contacted an attorney for possible legal action against the City of Chicago.