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The [Friday] Papers

"As private landlords increasingly take over the government's role of housing low-income families, dozens of children have been poisoned by brain-damaging lead while living in homes and apartments declared safe by the Chicago Housing Authority," the Tribune reports.

"Federal law requires the CHA to inspect subsidized homes before tenants move in and at least once a year afterward. But since 2010, at least one child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning in 187 homes the housing authority approved for occupancy, according to a Tribune analysis of thousands of pages of inspection reports, monthly payments, court documents and property records.

"The CHA paid the landlords of those hazardous homes more than $5.6 million in federal rent subsidies after clearing them to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program, the Tribune analysis found. Nearly $1 million of that amount was delivered to landlords while they faced housing code violations or lawsuits filed by another city agency, the Chicago Department of Public Health, over deteriorating lead-based paint in their rentals."

*

I'm not sure the values of those who would let this happen are any less twisted than those we've instilled in the stone-cold killers ravaging our most gang-infested neighborhoods. In fact, I'm not sure the values of those who would let his happen aren't more twisted, given that they should know better and have been entrusted by the public to help safeguard the lives of others.

But I digress.

*

"CHA officials have said for more than a year that they are working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on a new 'proactive approach' to home inspections. But when the CHA renewed its guidelines for the voucher program in February, it made no changes to its inspection procedures. Maryland, Rhode Island and Rochester, N.Y., already require rigorous lead testing before families move into subsidized rentals.

"'By failing to do anything about the lead, they are making crippled children who are going to grow up to be crippled adults,' said Tolanda McMullen, whose son Makheil was poisoned while living in a home approved by CHA inspectors. 'They don't even have a chance because it was taken from them when they were babies.'"

*

"Asked why they continued paying landlords after health inspectors intervened, housing officials said children in some cases identified by the Tribune weren't poisoned enough to merit intervention under the CHA's regulations at the time."

I'm quite certain, though, that had housing officials' own children been involved, they would have met the threshold of "poisoned enough."

*

"Molly Sullivan, a CHA spokeswoman, said housing officials sometimes clear landlords who provide a report from a state-certified inspector documenting that lead hazards were removed, even if the health department considers the case unresolved."

Stop doing that, please. Look up the definition of "due diligence."

*

"Parents of poisoned children can request to move, Sullivan said, though lawyers familiar with the system said renters often are either too afraid of eviction to complain or their moving papers are rejected because they didn't cite specific language from the federal housing code."

Parents can request to move if their children are poisoned!

And I really wanted to write a light-hearted, witty column today. Instead, the CHA has ruined my morning - a mosquito bite compared to the horror some of our city's parents are facing right now because their kids weren't "poisoned enough" for anyone in a position of power to care.

*

P.S.: Molly Sullivan, one-time reporter, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

*

There's a lot more to be outraged about; go read the whole thing and prepare to be angry.

*

Seemingly related: "Dozens of families remained at a lead-contaminated public housing complex in northwest Indiana, despite a Friday target date to move them out so the city can tear down the buildings," AP reports.

"More than 270 families have left East Chicago's West Calumet Housing Complex, and officials hope to have the remaining 50 or so families out next week. But the delay highlights several problems with the evacuation effort such as limited rental options in the largely industrial area, landlords who won't accept government housing vouchers and some residents' resistance to being forced from the city."

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express
At Family Fare.

Beachwood Sports Radio: The (New) Cubs Are Still The (New) Cubs
Coach is excited. Plus: Bulls Screwing Up In Reverse; The D League; Drama-Free Blackhawks Almost Forgotten; Awful Shooting, Awful Reffing In Awful Venue; and Schweinsteiger!

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Clearance, Machineheart, Mykele Deville, Negative Scanner, Mike Mains, Motherfolk, Omni, Bastille, Xoe Wise, Razorhouse, UK Subs, Slapshot, Sohn, Melkbelly, Sleaford Mods, Nana Grizol, Xiu Xiu, Le Butcherettes, and Aretha Franklin.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

"Journalists continue to fall for empty drug industry promises."

+

Wow, coverage totally blown.

Again: There is a quality problem in journalism whose depths have still not been recognized, much less dealt with.

*

A nice addendum to my column Thursday about Rahm's latest poorly planned plan.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Best-laid plans.



Permalink

Posted on April 7, 2017


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - The Queen's Speech.
POLITICS - Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value.
SPORTS - Why Todd Frazier Should Lead Off.

BOOKS - The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Great Lakes Have Tsunamis.


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