The opinion of the court was delivered by: Austin, District Judge.
Plaintiffs, Negro tenants in or applicants for public housing,
sue on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated
alleging that defendants, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), a
municipal corporation, and C.E. Humphrey, Executive Director of
CHA, have violated their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of
the Constitution of the United States. Count I charges that
defendants intentionally chose sites for family public housing
and adopted tenant assignment procedures in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 1983 for the purpose of maintaining
existing patterns of residential separation of races in Chicago.
Count III alleges that regardless of their intentions defendants
violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 1983 by failing to select
family public housing sites in such locations as would alleviate
existing patterns of residential separation. Counts II and IV
repeat the allegations in Counts I and III respectively and
demand relief under 42 U.S.C. § 2000d (Section 601 of Title VI
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
I. Discriminatory Tenant Assignment Practices.
Plaintiffs charge that defendants have imposed quotas at four
White family housing projects to keep the number of Negro
families to a minimal level.
The Trumbull, Lathrop, Lawndale and Bridgeport projects were
built before 1944 in areas which were then and are now
substantially all White. Baron Affidavit, Exhibit A. Until 1954
CHA refused to permit Negro families to reside in these projects.
Statement of Elizabeth Wood, Head of CHA until August 23, 1954.
The Negro population in the four projects on December 31, 1967
represented respectively about 7%, 4%, 6% and 1% of the total.
Stipulation, July 29, 1968. At present Negroes comprise about 90%
of the tenants in CHA family housing projects and about 90% of
the waiting list of 13,000 persons. CHA Sept. 20 Brief, p. 7, p.
The disparity between the low number of Negro families in these
projects and the high number of Negro applicants for all projects
indicates that CHA has imposed a Negro quota. Alvin Rose,
Executive Director (chief executive officer) of CHA from
September 1957 to November 1967, testified on deposition that CHA
devised "elastic quotas" (p. 173) at the four projects which can
more accurately be characterized as "fixed" (p. 180). Harry
Schneider, Deputy Executive Director of CHA, formerly Director of
Management from May 1950 to January 1968, testified that until
May 22, 1968 these four projects were listed on CHA tenant
selection forms as appropriate for "A families only," that is,
Whites only. Schneider Dep., p. 77. He states that in these
projects there are "controls" on the number of Negro applicants
accepted. (p. 75), that Negro population in these projects is now
"fairly close" to the "appropriate maximum number" (p. 78), and
that if, for example, Trumbull attained the level of 35 Negro
families a "hold" would maintain the occupancy at that level (p.
84.) Mrs. Louise Webb, in charge of processing tenant
applications for CHA, confirms Mr. Schneider's testimony that
quotas are now in force. Webb Dep., p. 61.
CHA does not contradict these statements of its own officials.
The "history of tension, threats of violence and violence" urged
in justification by CHA cannot excuse a governmentally
established policy of racial segregation. Cooper v. Aaron,
358 U.S. 1, 78 S.Ct. 1401, 3 L.Ed.2d 5 (1958). In fact, the only
violent incident mentioned by Mr. Schneider occurred in 1953, and
Mr. Rose recalled that one incident indicating White hostility to
Negroes occurred at Bridgeport in 1959. Schneider Dep., p. 63;
Rose Dep., p. 163. Precautions taken in the wake of these
incidents such as notifying the police and Human Relations
Commission are no longer taken when Negroes are moved into the
White projects. Schneider Dep., p. 82. These remote incidents do
not show a clear threat of violence which might justify quotas as
a very temporary expedient. In any case, CHA's quotas clearly
have maintained Negro occupancy at a permanently low level.
Therefore, plaintiffs are entitled to appropriate relief against
the defendants' policy of denying applications to the four
projects on the basis of racial quotas. Detroit Housing
Commission v. Lewis, 226 F.2d 180 (6th Cir. 1955).
II. Discriminatory Site Selection Procedures
In choosing sites for public housing, the CHA is directed by
statute to follow these criteria:
Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 67 1/2, Sec. 8.2.
The City Council must approve all sites before they are acquired.
Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 67 1/2, Sec. 9. However, CHA is not compelled
to acquire or build upon all sites thus approved. Humphrey Dep.,
Plaintiffs charge that the procedure mainly used by defendants
to maintain existing patterns of racial residential separation
involved a pre-clearance arrangement under which CHA informally
submitted sites for family housing to the City Council Alderman
in whose ward the site was located. CHA admits the existence of
this procedure. E.g., Humphrey Aff't., p. 7. The Alderman to whom
White sites were submitted allegedly vetoed these sites because
the 90% Negro waiting list and occupancy rate would create a
Negro population in the White area. Plaintiffs allege that the
few White sites ...