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YLS Diversity Committee Meeting
 
Date: 12/06/2012
 
Location: The Chicago Bar Association, 321 South Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL 60604
 
Presented by: YLS Diversity
 
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TOPIC: No 8s; Cook County's Blanket Endorsement of Discrimination Against Housing Choice Voucher Holders

On July 24th, the Human Relations Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to approve an amendment to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance sponsored by Commissioner Jesus Garcia that would extend the city's protections against discrimination in housing based on source of income to residents living in Cook County. Currently, Cook County is the only jurisdiction in the nation that has a human rights ordinance that explicitly allows landlords to decline to rent to individuals solely based on the fact that they would be using a federal subsidy (i.e., Housing Choice Voucher) to pay for all or part of their rent. Due to rampant foreclosures and high unemployment, the need for affordable housing is greater than ever, and a legislative response now is appropriate, but it is a controversial issue, as realtors are strongly opposed to this change.