50-Year-Old Housing Discrimination Case Reaches Settlement

More than five decades ago, public housing residents filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Housing Authority, claiming the CHA preserved racial segregation in the city by purposely keeping African-Americans away from “opportunity areas.”

The lawsuit is named after the lead plaintiff in that case – Dorothy Gautreaux – who, along with others, won the case against the CHA. Now, the authority has agreed to a settlement.

Under the agreement, the CHA is obligated to maintain its schedule for planning and construction of its “Plan for Transformation”; develop housing for low-income families in mixed-income communities, or “opportunity areas”; strengthen its voucher program; and create early learning childhood development programs at four public housing complexes.

Joining us to discuss the lawsuit, its effects and what’s to come is Alexander Polikoff, co-director of the public housing section at Business and Professional People in the Public Interest, also known as BPI, who also has served as lead counsel in the case since it was first brought to court in 1966; and CHA CEO Eugene Jones Jr.

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