Shriver Center Files Federal Complaint Challenging Aldermanic Power

Complaint seeks new housing and zoning laws in Chicago to ensure the creation of affordable housing across all neighborhoods, not just some.

Lawyers from the Shriver on Poverty Law filed a federal complaint against the City of Chicago for its ‘aldermanic prerogative’ policy which has allowed discriminatory housing and zoning practices to flourish.

The complaint, which the Shriver Center filed on the behalf of local affordable housing and neighborhood alliance organizations, challenges the unfettered use of aldermanic power on the basis that it blocks affordable housing developments in Chicago, keeps neighborhoods racially segregated, and results in inequitable conditions and resource distribution across neighborhoods.

In 2018, the Shriver Center and the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) produced a report revealing how aldermen have used their power for decades to veto the placement of affordable housing developments in predominantly white neighborhoods, and effectively discriminate against black and Latinx households, families with children, and people with disabilities.

The Shriver Center has also joined community organizations in calling on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to resolve the fair housing issues raised in the complaint.

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All people should have the right to a safe, stable home to build better futures for themselves and their families.

Shelter is not only a basic human need, it is also critical to people’s ability to pursue and attain economic stability.

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