Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the “Blueprint for Fair Housing” will address the city’s housing segregation, disparities in access to opportunity, and history of inequitable investment.
The blueprint includes specific plans to mitigate and eliminate barriers to fair housing. The assessment outlines eight goals and complementary strategies that will focus on Chicago’s most residentially segregated communities and provide direction on how the city will work to address those forces that both drive and exacerbate Chicago’s racial divides. This includes wealth and public health factors that influence a community’s access to opportunity, employment, quality education, transportation, and other essential services
“If we are to truly eradicate the lingering scourges of housing segregation here in Chicago, we must take bold action. By completing this ‘Blueprint for Fair Housing,’ we will be able to tackle the deeply embedded issues of structural racism and economic disinvestment that drives disparities in housing and access to opportunity in our city. Paired with our other ongoing housing equity and anti-poverty initiatives, we will be able to rebuild and diversify our middle class and restore all residents’ access to healthy, affordable and quality housing in neighborhoods by providing jobs and essential services,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
In Chicago, 74% of the city’s 1.8 million people of color live in economically disconnected areas, mainly on the South and West sides where rates of unemployment and poverty far exceed those on the North side. These disparities rank the city as the fifth most racial and economically segregated metropolitan area in the country.
The findings of fair housing challenges, community conversations, and extensive data analysis confirm that residential segregation creates a cycle of instability and economic hardship with long-lasting consequences. The Blueprint for Fair Housing identifies the following eight goals the City and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) will take over the next five years to further fair housing goals and make Chicago more equitable:
- Increase and preserve affordable, accessible housing options
- Prevent involuntary displacement and stabilize neighborhoods
- Increase opportunities and community integration for people with disabilities
- Address the segregation of opportunity and related inequitable distribution of resources
- Enhance housing policies and programs to increase fair housing choice
- Expand fair housing outreach, education and enforcement
- Preserve existing and expand affordable homeownership
- Ensure that internal policies and practices advance equity and address history of structural racism
The Blueprint for Fair Housing is available now and open for public comment through May 28, and available by visiting www.chicago.gov/fairhousing.