STATEMENT ON HUD DECISION Tuesday, July 20

Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 2:24 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Olga Bautista, Director of Southeast Environmental Task Force, 773-712-4956

Ivan Moreno, NRDC, imoreno@nrdc.org, 773-799-6455

Carlos Enriquez, CEJN, carlos@setaskforce.org 815-342-5717

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Releases Findings of Environmentally Racist Practices by the City of Chicago

CHICAGO (July 19, 2022) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a letter to the City of Chicago indicating HUD’s findings that the city has been violating the civil rights of residents on the Southeast Side by relocating toxic industries from affluent, white neighborhoods into Black and brown communities that have already faced disproportionate amounts of pollution.

The decision by HUD came as a result of a civil rights complaint filed by residents of the Southeast Side citing the city of Chicago’s alleged discriminatory land use and zoning practices.

According to the letter sent by HUD, if Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration doesn’t agree to restructure its zoning and permitting processes, City Hall would face losing hundreds of millions in federal housing funds.

The Following is a joint statement from Southeast Environmental Task Force, People For Community Recovery, and Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke:

"The tide of segregation and environmental racism in Chicago has been devastating Black and brown communities for far too long. This federal investigation from HUD shows without a doubt that systemic racism in Chicago is creating sacrifice zones and putting the most vulnerable in harm’s way. All eyes are now on the Mayor’s office and City Council to take accountability and end the systems that allow the dirtiest industries to pile up in our communities.

The City of Chicago has a choice: Either change its discriminatory practices of land use, or face some serious consequences by losing out on millions of federal housing funds - which would only further systemic racism in this city.

This decision can be the first step in finally putting an end to sacrifice zones and to eliminating the narrative that working-class communities of color are dumping grounds for cities such as Chicago."

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