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Federal Study Details Housing Discrimination Towards The Disabled

By Scott Smith in News on Jul 25, 2005 8:49PM

Racial segregation (either voluntary or systemic) has long been a problem in Chicago housing. Today a federal study throws light on the difficulties that Chicago’s disabled population experiences when 2005_07_25_housing.jpgpursuing rental properties.

Today’s Chicago Tribune discusses the 18-month study by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. Researchers found that the hearing impaired were discriminated 50 percent of the time by renters who either hung up on them or cut them off during operator-assisted calls. For those that showed up to view apartments, one-third of persons experienced discrimination in when they were denied access to the apartments or turned away outright by renters.

HUD ran the study using statistically valid measurements and paired testing, wherein researchers compare the experience of the disabled with those who were not. The findings confirmed mounting anecdotal evidence from those in the community. Researchers conducted the study here because it allowed them to work with Chicago’s advocacy groups. You can download a copy of the study here in PDF format.

Hopefully, participants in this week’s 14th annual U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup will receive better treatment when they’re staying in the city’s hotels. The IC/NACC is a three-day US SAILING National Championship that showcases the best of disabled sailing. Two-person crews pilot each specially constructed vessel along with a non-competing able-bodied person.

Participants to watch this year include last year’s double-handed champions, Karen Mitchell and Kerry Gruson. Mitchell hopes to become the first female U.S. sailor to represent the U.S. in the upcoming Paralympic Games in Bejing. Last year’s single-handed champ Nick Scandone will defend his title in only his 2nd IC/NACC appearance.

Hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club, the event takes place July 30th through August 1st.