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Edgewater Woman Upset With Lack Of Affordable Housing, Protests Ben Carson Talk Yesterday

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Being ranked as the third most segregated city in the country, Chicago is trying to break free of that distinction. Those groups rallying for better affordable housing in more idyllic Chicago neighborhoods found an opportunity to voice their concerns when Ben Carson, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, made an appearance in Chicago yesterday.

Coming on the heels of the Trump administration’s announcement that they would delay enforcement of a new Obama-era rule that would help address racial segregation in federal housing, activists were poised to get their message heard. They have been seeking to help desegregate Chicago area neighborhoods by pressuring the Chicago Housing Authority to find landlords in better communities that will take subsidies for low-income families.

Carson attended an early closed meeting at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building. That meeting was interrupted by 66-year-old Edgewater resident Debra Miller who wanted to know how Carson would ensure adequate housing for for the homeless and seniors. Carson ignored Miller and she was escorted out of the building.

Miller said in a Tribune article, “He’s not here to help, and he’s not here to provide. He never talked about what he knew of housing, he never said the word ‘housing.’ But I did.”

With much of the area’s new construction and renovated buildings having healthy percentages of apartments dedicated to families in need, Edgewater has been a melting pot of a wide range of income levels among its residents. However many people with housing subsidies still find themselves stuck in segregated, poverty-stricken neighborhoods with high crime.

According to the Tribune, hundreds of low-income Chicagoans sit on waiting lists for years to get access to housing subsidies and public housing. During his Chicago visit, Carson did not meet with any community groups to discuss these issues nor did he address the White House’s controversial decision on racial segregation in federal housing.

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