A Challenge to Section 8 Segregation in Suburban Cook County

Fair housing supporters looking for a method to analyze and resolve problems of segregation in Section 8 housing would do well to obtain and study a new report entitled A Racial Perspective On Subsidized Housing in the Chicago Suburbs.

This report carefully examines the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) Section 8 program, which it says is "overwhelmingly Black and highly concentrated geographically with few whites and almost no Hispanics."

Segregation By Lack of Choice

The report says that the locational patterns cannot be explained solely by rent affordability differences between regions of suburban Cook County.  The study says the segregation patterns "may be explained in part, by the lack of HACC administrative mechanisms to faster greater housing choice in areas outside of the South suburbs."

The key findings point out that "Large nu mbers of two bedroom units can be: found in all regions, especially in the northwest suburbs of the HACC service area."

The 36-page illustrated report was prepared by Dr. Paul Fischer of Lake Forest college for the South Suburban Housing Center. It was made po ssible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A community advisory council also assisted Dr Fischer.

For copies contact George Cole, Executive Director, South Suburban Housing Center, 2135 Edge Road, Homewood, Illinois 60430, 708-957-4674.

Marin Study Shows Discrimination in Two Out of Five Rentals

Persons of color looking for rental housing in Marin County, CA, can expect to be discriminated against 42% of the time, according to November audits. Discrimination occurred in 2 of every 5 rentals of the 1,472 units tested. Areas of Marin with large minority populations were not included.

Of the 31 county- wide locations tested, 14 locations, or 45%, showed no discrimination on the basis of race.  Nine locations, or 29%, gave clear evidence of discrimination an the basis of r ace. In the remaining eight tests, or 26%, diffe rential treatment favoring the white tester indicated a need for further investigation.

83% Discrimination in Southern Marin

Clear evidence of discrimination by area was found in 83% of the tests conducted in Southern Marin County, 22% of the tests in Central Marin, and in none of the tests in Navota.

The study found subtle discrimination rather than blatant.  Except for one test where the owner refused to answer the door, no owner denied an African.-American tester the opportunity to see an advertised unit. No outright discriminatory remarks were made in any of the tests, but fewer units were shown to the African-American testers, and there were some differences in financial terms or requirements for them.

The Marin audit report entitled, Racial Discrimination in Housing , is available in an attractive 16-page pamphlet from the Fair Housing Program of the Marin Housing Center, San Rafael, California 94901, 415-457-5025.