Chicago violated residents' civil rights by moving polluters to Black, Latino neighborhoods, HUD says

Federal officials have found that the city of Chicago is violating the civil rights of its residents by relocating polluting businesses from white communities to Black and Latino areas.

That conclusion comes after a nearly two-year investigation sparked by a challenge from community organizers.

They spoke out about the planned relocation of General Iron's metal shredding business to the Southeast Side from Lincoln Park.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is demanding that Chicago change its unlawful planning, zoning and land use policies as a result.

In February, Mayor Lori Lightfoot rejected a permit that would the Southeast Side operation to open. But HUD investigators are looking more broadly at officials’ actions prior to the decision.

If Mayor Lightfoot's administration doesn't cooperate, the city could potentially lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal housing money.