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Activists Want Feds to Investigate HUD

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A group of people who live in subsidized housing is calling on lawmakers to investigate the Chicago office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Chicago Public Radio’s Catrin Einhorn reports.

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The group alleges that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is putting the interests of developers over those of citizens. The activists accuse the agency of giving contracts to a handful of politically connected developers, despite what they call a history of poor management. Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle is an organizer with Southside Together Organizing for Power. He says they can’t prove corruption right now, but they think a federal investigation could.

GINSBERG-JAECKLE: We’ve heard it from so many different sources, from people who’ve been developers in the past, etcetera, that this is the way things work. To get at the root of those patterns it’s going to require a federal investigation, because they’re going to have to open the books. And right now they won’t open the books.

A spokesperson with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Chicago says there is no corruption or favoritism in the office. Beverly Bishop says the agency deals with all contracts in a quote fair and equitable manner. She says when there is wrongdoing, the agency reports it to the inspector general.

I’m Catrin Einhorn, Chicago Public Radio.

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