Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-09-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Stuff happens. Housing discrimination doesn't have to
by Brent Adams
2019-09-04

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Stuff happens—sometimes really awful stuff.

Most of my 20+ years of involvement in the LGBTQ community in Chicago has been good stuff. I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the board of directors or play a leadership role for some of our institutions, such as the Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health and Test Positive Aware Network, among others. But in 2014, a bunch of stuff happened—bad stuff.

I am a person living with disabilities and, in May 2014, I was struggling mightily. After being released from the emergency room one day, I was wandering around my neighborhood confused and disoriented. A neighbor called the cops. The cops arrested me and, over a few days, I bounced back and forth between jail and the emergency room. The felony charges were later dropped after I pled guilty to a citation for "disorderly conduct."

Folks "with records" like me face potential barriers to maintaining a stable life. In Chicago, for example, prospective landlords often deny housing to a person because of their past interactions with the criminal legal system. In my case, I was fortunate enough to secure a lease in 2015 from a housing provider who did not know or did not care about my arrest.

This issue has serious implications for LGBTQ folks. LGBTQ people have higher rates of addiction and mental illness than straight folks. The scourge of methamphetamine addiction among gay men—which has impacted me personally—is just one example of a disparity that has had profound negative consequences for our community. Drug use and crime are strongly linked, making addicts much more likely than non-addicts to be arrested. People with disabilities overall are more likely to be arrested than people without them. In sum, LGBTQ people—particularly LGBTQ people of color and low-income LGBTQ individuals—are more likely than straight folks to come into contact with the criminal-justice system. Correspondingly, our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are at a heightened risk of being denied housing.

Recently, local lawmakers took significant steps to address this problem by passing the Just Housing Amendment. The measure prohibits landlords in Cook County from automatically barring housing applicants on the basis of their conviction history. Instead, it requires landlords to conduct individualized assessments of each applicant before deciding whether to offer or deny them rental housing. For applicants with arrests but no convictions, the amendment prohibits the landlord from giving any weight whatsoever to arrests.

In coming weeks, the Cook County Board of Commissioners will decide on regulations that will govern how the Just Housing Amendment is implemented. The coalition of organizations that helped pass the Just Housing Amendment is working to ensure the regulations are free of anything that would subvert the law's purpose, such as overbroad exclusions based on generalizations or stereotypes. The commissioners whose districts include neighborhoods with high LGBTQ populations—such as Edgewater, Andersonville and Boystown—should actively support the coalition's goals on behalf of their LGBTQ constituents.

Finally, the City of Chicago, under the leadership of our new openly lesbian mayor, should follow the Cook County Board's lead and adopt similar protections for folks living in the city. The truth of the saying "stuff happens" applies to everyone, but LGBTQ folks get more than their fair share. Therefore, as a community, we should support policies such as the Just Housing Amendment that eliminate barriers to people who are trying to rebuild their lives after experiences with our criminal-justice system.

Brent Adams is the senior vice president of policy and communication at Woodstock Institute, a financial-justice organization, and was formerly a cabinet member in the administration of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Activists halt U.S. Conference on AIDS to protest CDC 2019-09-18 - Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) surely saw it coming. Protests are part ...


Gay News

VIEWS Visibility isn't the goal 2019-09-18 - In mid-July, I interviewed non-binary rapper CJ Run. In discussing the coming out of gay country rapper Lil Nas X, Run articulated something ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Tiny Beautiful Things 2019-09-18 - Playwright: Adapted by Nia Vardalos from the book by Cheryl Strayed. At: Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Five Presidents 2019-09-18 - Playwright: Rick Cleveland At: American Blues Theater @Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 1-773-654-3103; AmericanBluesTheater.com; $29-$39. Runs through: Oct. 19 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Great Leap 2019-09-18 - Playwright: Lauren Yee At: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650; Steppenwolf.org; $20-$89. Runs through: Oct. 20 The year ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Casa Valentina 2019-09-17 - Playwright: Harvey Fierstein At: The Broadway at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: $25-40; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com. Runs through: Sept. 29 They ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Sage Sapien, From Karma to Dharma 2019-09-17 - By Johnson Chong, $24.95; Koehler Books; 172 pages It's never clear who exactly Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma is for. ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Taken by the Wind 2019-09-17 - By Ellen Hart, $25.99; Minotaur Books; 320 pages Your bag was packed. There wasn't much in it except for the necessities: ...


Gay News

REELING 2019 The reviews are in 2019-09-17 - Reeling 2019: The 37th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will take place Sept. 19-29 at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema and Music Box Theatre. ...


Gay News

FALL THEATER PREVIEW A cornucopia of world premieres 2019-09-04 - World premieres abound in Chicago theater—sometimes totaling nearly half of all productions in any given month. Here are a dozen upcoming new plays ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.