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Proactive Fair Housing in Chicago

Options for City Policymakers

Authors:

Alexander Shura, Samuel Abers, Jason Lalljee, Max Servetar, Jonah Lubin

Abstract:

Despite progress towards fair housing in Chicago over the past 50 years, housing discrimination
remains a challenge across the city. Additionally, since the 2015 HUD rule Affirmatively Furthering
Fair Housing, the goals of fair housing programs are broader and more ambitious. In order to limit
ongoing discrimination and meet higher federal standards, the City of Chicago should consider the
following courses of action: Strengthening housing protected classes in line with other major US cities by explicitly protecting Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) holders, adding a separate and explicit reasonable accommodations provision, adding protections against discrimination based on alienage or citizenship, and expanding terminology around and creating examples of “gender identity discrimination”. Addressing discriminatory homeseeking by prohibiting agents from accepting the instructions of a client who asks for assistance in a search that avoids a protected class, broadening the category of advertising materials which must not contain discriminatory content, and including online postings. Protecting against changes in federal fair housing policy by incorporating Obama-era disparate impact burden-sharing standards in local law, seeking local-level accountability for housing-related algorithm use.