August 19, 2020

Advancing Fair Housing in Cook County

Chicago fair housing infographic

In Chicago, Enterprise has been working to advance fair housing and reverse decades of systemic racism through housing since 2017, when we co-hosted a convening on regional fair housing with Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance and Metropolitan Planning Council, and published a report on best practices in 2018.

Beginning in the spring of 2019, eighteen local governments and public housing authorities in Cook County have been collaborating on a new, rigorous approach to furthering fair housing and to address the aims of the 1968 Fair Housing Act to end discrimination and racial segregation in our communities.  Enterprise, in partnership with the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, has been guiding the participating jurisdictions through the process, established in the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.

Despite federal efforts to undermine this process, the racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes as well as the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, have laid bare the ever-important role that unfair land use and housing policies and practices (historical and existing) play in perpetuating the segregated and inequitable society we live in today.

Participating jurisdictions in Cook County have made significant progress and have identified goals and strategies to reverse decades of segregation and unfair housing policies and practices in the region. Jurisdictions include: City of Chicago, Cook County, Chicago Housing Authority, Housing Authority of Cook County, Village of Oak Park, Oak Park Housing Authority, City of Berwyn, Cicero Housing Authority, Village of Skokie, City of Evanston, Village of Arlington Heights, City of Des Plaines, Village of Oak Lawn, Village of Hoffman Estates, Village of Mount Prospect, Village of Palatine, Village of Schaumburg, and Village of Park Forest.

The project team is working diligently to ensure that all of the hard work is not eroded by the current climate in Washington, and we continue to work with the participating jurisdictions to make sure they complete the process, commit to fair housing goals and strategies and stay on track to implementing meaningful action. 

The work has only just begun and now more than ever we are committed to seeing it through it the interest of striving toward a more fair and just society.

For more information contact Miriam Zuk, mzuk@enterprisecommunity.org.

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