Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Felons In Mixed Public Housing

A savvy reader alerts us to this:
"Say what??? It’s only in mixed public housing that felons cannot live? Say it isn’t true."

From "Moving On: Stories from the CHA's Plan for Transformation:

If someone is involved with crime, no matter where they are, do they bring that crime with them?

I’m not an expert on that kind of thing, but the voucher program does do a criminal background check. And anybody that has any violent crime, any drug crimes on their record is not eligible for a voucher. So that population is screened out of the voucher population to begin with. Which is not to say that some family might not put someone on the lease, or bring someone along who does have a crime issue, but they’re risking their voucher if they do that.

Isn’t that a terrible barrier for a lot of people?

Yes, it’s very difficult. And that’s why a lot of people don’t tell anybody if they have a family member who has been incarcerated, because where is that person going to go? Incarcerated people have to go somewhere, they have to live someplace but according to the voucher program they should stay in public housing.

But isn’t it against the law for someone with a felony conviction to live in public housing?

In the new, mixed-income developments, that’s true.

What happens to those people?

It’s a very serious problem, especially in this day when we know that so many black men have been locked up for drug offenses. There is a real underground, where people don’t say and don’t tell about family members that are in that category.

I think for the crime issue the bigger piece of it is that there are a lot of squatters in public housing, people who are not on leases, who just live there and as the buildings come down, all of those families are going someplace too. They’re not getting vouchers because they’re not formally part of public housing, but they’re a pretty big population and Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University has tracked some of those families from Robert Taylor homes.
I don’t know this but I suspect that the crime issue is a bigger issue for that group than for the voucher group that we tend to deal with. But it is a problem. Until people have jobs and incomes and aren’t substance abusers, crime will always be an issue


  1. I love it when people cite Brown v. Board of Education. It cracks me up. Why? Because in Brown v. Board the Supreme court decided that a room full of black kids can't learn as well as a room full of white kids. So, to give the black kids a shot, we need to move them in with the white kids, who can help them learn.

    I don't know, I'd be offended if someone told me that my daughter didn't have a chance to learn because she was around too many people of her own race.

  2. I probably is true but I knew a few people that lived in public housing right here in Uptown that worked for me and on thier job application they declared they had a criminal record and served time in prison. Also they have some illegal aliens that used fake Id`s and fake SS cards yet they managed to slip throught the cracks and lived there also as and some still do.......

  3. what if the mixed public housing apartment is in the girlfriend's name and she's dating a felon? is there some sort of screening to prohibit that?

  4. Again with the decentralizing poverty. Where do these crackpots come from. Helen, Peter, ONE all know better. Thank your god that they're here to do things their way.

  5. Off topic but IKE IS GOING DOWN....who will be next.....

  6. Brown v BOE was about desegregating schools and providing better teachers, facilities and attempting to bring equality in education between the races.

    I did watch the local chicago channel a while ago and it was detailing CHA and what is required by the residents. I wonder if the posted article is incorrect in saying "mixed income" housing with those requirements because based on the program, anyone in CHA regardless of what type of housing (low or mixed) the same rules applied. The requirements also included the resident having to work at least part time (unless they were of retirement age or had a physical disability). The other thing the program stressed was that the purpose of CHA housing is to provide temporary assistance for residents while they get their life together. Of course I'm sure the program was biased and painted a rosey picture because there are some people that live on public assistance their entire life. It was a good program though and for those the CHA helps, it was good to see.

    There are always cracks and flaws in systems though but hopefully the city and CHA will crackdown on the public housing issues. Especially cracking down on those that house gang members, felons, etc... in their homes. I think in a lot of ways it comes down to property management companies that keep order and tabs on people that don't belong on property.

    Just my .02

  7. Windy City Eagle...huh?
    Brown v BOE ruled that separate but equal wasn't equal and that school segregation was unconsitutional. You really take issue with that?

  8. Thank you BP neighbor. I couldn't agree with you more.

  9. I wish they would catch Shiller getting kick backs from Holsten or her lovely son Brendan.

  10. Brown vs. Board of Education argued that separate facilities could not be equal simply because they were separate. Or more clearly, a classroom of black children is inherently inferior to a classroom of white children.No, it didn't.

    "Imagine you are a seven year old and have to walk one mile to a bus stop by walking through a railroad switching station and then waiting for a school bus to go to a "black elementary school" or a school where only African American children went. This is what happened to Linda Brown, an African American third grader from Topeka, Kansas, even though there was a "white elementary school" only seven blocks away. A "white elementary school" was a school where only white students were able to attend.

    This is how the Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit was started in 1951. Linda’s father, Oliver Brown, and thirteen other parents tried to enroll their children in the local "white schools" in the summer of 1950, but were turned down because they were African Americans. They were told they must attend one of the four schools in the city for African American children. These parents filed suit against the Topeka Board of Education for their children. Oliver Brown was the first parent listed in the lawsuit, so the case was named after him. At the time of the lawsuit, Blacks everywhere were not treated fairly. For every $150.00 spent on white children at the "white schools" only $50.00 was spent on African American children at the "black schools." The parents of the African American children thought that their school was not treated as fairly because they were colored. They did not have the most current textbooks, not enough school supplies, and overcrowded classrooms."
    That's from a pretty simplistic website about the case, but it summerizes the issue pretty well. The facilities were not, as you stated, identical, least of all racially.

    And now back to the REAL topic...

  11. Brown:

    Brown does not at all say that blacks cannot learn in black classrooms. NBrown is one of the best SC cases I have ever read.

    The ruling can be summed up this way.

    "Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal."

    Windy City Eagle turns the argmuments inside out, somehow implying that the court is saying blacks can't learn with blacks.

    Man on The Street:

    The segregatesd schools in Topeka were found to be equal. Same money spent, same books etc. Brown found segregation illegal without regard to the Plessey v. Furgeson doctrine of "Seperate but Equal".

    This is a great quote from the case:

    "Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system."

    For people who want to actually read the case, here is a link:

    I am just go to note, without elaborating, that it could be argued that a law banning gay marriage also implies a badge of inferiority to gays... but I digress...

    Sorry, this is a blog post not a well-written brief, but I hope you all get the point.

  12. Then please tell me why schools with a majority of black students continually underperform when compared to their counterparts. I already know everyone will spout the money issue but the US spends more on education than most and we are lagging in every major educational category.

  13. Sorry, back on topic I know, but I just want to say, I am clarifying what the court said, nothing more.

  14. WindyCityEagle: Don't oversimplify the reasoning of Brown. You sound like an idiot.

    At that time, the "room full of black students" had:
    >Less educated families. No fault of the families. They did not have the same educational opportunities.
    >Less qualified teachers.
    >Poorer facilities.

    Spouting falsehoods in quick provocative sound-bite fashion makes everyone less intelligent. Don't present garbage as well-thought-out reasoning, you will be doing everyone you know a huge favor.

    Brown was about how our society treated people on the basis of race NOT about the aptitude of specific races. I hope you are smart enough to realize that and stop misrepresenting the point of Brown.

  15. UU is going to hate me again, but I have to spout it out.

    We were chastized (SP?) by the "management" and people really actually said that "as a white man you don't know how to teach black kids."

    Anyway, in my humble opinion, the answer to why all black schools don't perform as well as white schools?

    The answer is: politics. politics. politics.

    Sorry UU, but this string touched on a sensitive subject for me... real education.

    I will stop now....

  16. I thought I heard somewhere that the new CHA regulations require that tenants have clean records. However, people already on the waiting list would be 'grandfathered in'. There is also a lot of pressure to keep buildings at high occupancy and it is very difficult to evict. At various CAPS meetings, there was discussion about having central databases so that problem tenants would not just go and re-rent from other management companies who did not know of them....

    And an aside on the less relevant posts: To ihatemondays - you cannot possibly be asking this question seriously. Many things have not changed over the years in terms of majority-black schools being in districts with high poverty, poor facilities, poorer schools, etc. The families there may also be less likely to have the means, desire, knowledge etc. to value and aggressively pursue early childhood education in the home. (There were some interesting articles about these KIPP schools in the press recently.) But neither I nor anyone else has the time to expand on this. It's not just race, obviously.

  17. Brown v Board of Education? Whoa. I'd love to talk about it, but there's a time and place.

    I'm going to ask Christine Klepper to qualify her remark. Perhaps she just misspoke. That is where I lean on this question.

    If you would like to contact Ms. Klepper you can do so at the following.

    cklepper - at -
    312-386-1009 x223

    The Housing Choice Partners general telephone number is 312-386-1009.

    Something ironic here, but Housing Choice Partners does not presently list the Uptown neighborhood as one they are in search of landlords.

    HCP does list just about every other neighborhood on the North Side with the exception of Rogers Park.