Chicago Housing Authority quashes drug testing plan for residents

June 21, 2011

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(Flickr/David Schalliol)
The Chicago Housing Authority's Loomis Homes.

The Chicago Housing Authority has decided not to require drug testing of all its tenants.

Last month CHA officials proposed that public housing residents take drug tests. Many residents and civil liberty advocates balked at the idea.

At Tuesday’s CHA board meeting, members decided to kill the issue. The decision is permanent.

"We decided that one, we thought this was kind of close to violating on civil rights. And that right now wasn’t an issue we wanted to deal with.  And we also changed the policy of items now have to go through the board before they go out for public comment," said James Reynolds, CHA board chair.

Reynolds said the board did not see the drug-testing proposal before it went public.

Residents who live in some mixed-income properties must still take drugs tests.

However, Reynolds said it’s possible that policy may be revisited.