June 22, 2011 4:38 pm

CHA Drops Proposal for Suspicionless Drug Testing of All Residents

Yesterday, the Chicago Housing Authority Board dropped a proposal to its revised agreement with tenants and applicants that would have required all adults residing in all CHA properties (and those applying) to take an invasive drug test each year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has vocally opposed this proposal since it first surfaced last month. Residents and advocates for tenants also have been very vocal in their opposition to this invasive, stigmatizing plan.

The following can be attributed to Adam Schwartz, Senior Staff Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois:

Today’s decision by the CHA Board to drop a proposal to subject residents and applicants to humiliating, invasive and stigmatizing drug testing is welcome news. There is no evidence that individuals who rent CHA apartments are more likely to use drugs than residents in other rental properties throughout the City of Chicago. Singling out these individuals simply is unnecessary and a diversion of precious resources.

The women and men who live in CHA units, like all of us, want to live in safe, secure residences where they feel comfortable and can raise their families. We hope the CHA will redouble efforts to ensure that the residents of their buildings enjoy these benefits, without having to undergo drug testing.

We applaud the Board for listening to the voices of the residents and dropping this harmful proposal.

_____________________
Read the ACLU’s earlier letter to the CHA.