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2000 July - August

Gautreaux and Chicago's Public Housing Crisis

The Conflict Between Achieving Integration and Providing Decent Housing for Very Low-Income African Americans

By William P. Wilen & Wendy L. Stasell

Thirty years after the landmark Gautreaux public housing desegregation case, public housing in Chicago and across the nation remains overwhelmingly segregated. Amid an affordable-housing crisis, the debate rages over which of two important housing goals takes precedence: achieving integration or supplying decent housing for low-income African Americans even if it is in racially identifiable areas. Three lawsuits involving large-scale public housing developments in Chicago may raise doubt as to the efficacy of integration efforts as the best means for improving the quality of life for a substantial number of very low-income African American families.

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The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

Enhancing Youth Access to Health Care

By Abigail English & Kathi Grasso

Many young people leaving the foster care system at age 18 not only lack familial, financial and other support but also experience serious unmet physical and mental health needs. The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 gives states the option of expanding Medicaid coverage to these young adults. Advocates and states can take steps to ensure that the health-care-related provisions of the law are effectively implemented.

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The Foster Care Independence Act and John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program

New Catalysts for Reform for Young People Aging Out of Foster Care

By MaryLee Allen & Robin Nixon

Congress has redesigned the federal Independent Living Initiative funded under title IV of the Social Security Act. The Foster Care Independence Program provides new opportunities for state and local programs to support and assist young adults aging out of foster care.

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Child-Support Issues for Parents Who Receive Means-Tested Public Assistance

By Paula Roberts

Establishing and enforcing child-support obligations is particularly complex when one or both parents receive means-tested public assistance. Critical issues for advocates to understand include whether public assistance is countable as "income," whether a court should impute income to a parent with no countable income, whether minimum support awards should be established, and whether support payments in forms other than cash are allowed. Additional issues are the policies to be considered when deviating from child-support guidelines and the approaches to adjusting awards based on visitation.

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Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due

Helping Welfare-to-Work Clients Address Credit-Reporting Issues

By Deanna Kitamura & Deanne Loonin

Credit-reporting issues are particularly important for people making the transition from welfare to work because a negative report may be the reason why they are turned down for a job, an apartment, or credit. Advocates need to help their clients understand their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Credit Repair Organization Act. Advocates also can be effective in using the protections in these statutes to help resolve problems with their clients' credit reports and ensure that the reports are used only for permissible purposes.

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