|HUD No. 23-095
HUD Public Affairs
May 12, 2023
HUD NEGOTIATES AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND COMMUNITY GROUPS TO ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement with the City of Chicago and three community-based environmental advocacy organizations (Southeast Environmental Task Force, the South East Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, and People for Community Recovery) to alleviate existing and prevent future environmental burdens, such as pollution and its negative health effects, and increase opportunities for environmentally burdened communities to participate in decision-making processes. Under this agreement, the City of Chicago will complete a comprehensive study of environmental burdens, health conditions, and social stressors across Chicago and use that study to inform and advance reforms to land use, permitting, and environmental enforcement policies and procedures. The Agreement resolves HUD findings of noncompliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 for the City of Chicago. Read the Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement here.
“HUD is committed to addressing environmental inequity within the authority of the nation’s fair housing and civil rights laws,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Today’s agreement is an important step toward ensuring that health and safety of all neighborhoods is a priority, and that impacted-communities have a seat at the table.”
The findings of noncompliance, issued on July 19, 2022, arose from a complaint filed by the three community-based environmental advocacy organizations alleging City actions and policies shifted polluting activities from predominantly white neighborhoods to predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods that were known to the City to be overburdened by environmental hazards. For more background on the complaint and the City’s actions, read HUD’s findings here.
“Black and Latinx families must not bear the disproportionate burden of a community’s industrial activities. Advancing environmental justice is about more than addressing existing burdens: communities must develop new paradigms for development that center the voices of the most burdened communities,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This agreement sets a new standard for resolving environmental justice matters and is an important step in that direction for Chicago. We are committed to enforcing the nation’s fair housing and civil rights laws to advance environmental justice and ensure that health and safety is a priority for all neighborhoods.”
HUD did not issue a final letter of determination prior to entering into the Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement.
People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 9669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at https://www.hud.gov/fairhousing.