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June 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-6


The Nanny State Is Expanding And Private-Property Rights Are Decreasing


Chicago Housing Authority Problems - Spread to Dubuque



Interestingly enough, the issues and actions of the Dubuque Housing Authority to address their Section 8 voucher wait list and reported crime increases occurred just as the city of Chicago was having significant housing authority and voucher problems of its own. 


The “Plan for Transformation” of Chicago’s public housing was started in 2000, with the promise to tear down drug and crime-ridden high-rise buildings, such as the infamous Cabrini Green and Henry Horner and Robert Taylor Homes, and replaces them with “private, mixed-income” developments.  By 2010, 25,000 units were to be replaced, at a cost of $1.6 billion.  Unfortunately, as of December 2013 only 21,648 units had been completed by the scandal-plagued Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).  The wait list for Section 8 vouchers at that time was over 57,000 families, and over 1,000 displaced families were still waiting for housing.[25]  This was three years after the ten-year program was to be completed. 


At the same time, six of ten housing units provided by private-sector landlords failed housing inspections.  Some of the issues are “rat and bedbug infestation, heating and electricity outages.” According to the 2012 Chicago Housing Authority annual report, almost 25 percent of the city-owned units were vacant.  The “why” they were vacant wasn’t stated. 


The timing and focus of the HUD investigation of Dubuque, coming on the heels of the failing CHA program, is interesting, but irrelevant to the results.




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