[Text of the report and draft agreement submitted to the "summit" meeting by the working group on August 26, 1966. The Chicago Freedom Movement agreed to halt open-housing marches and protests in return for full implementation of the 10 main points in the draft. Source of the text is from Fullfilling the Dream. ]
See Chicago Freedom Movement, Slumlords, & Open Housing for background.
This subcommittee has been discussing a problem that exists in every metropolitan area in America. It has been earnestly seeking immediate, practical, and effective steps which can be taken to create a fair housing market in metropolitan Chicago.
In the City of Chicago itself, the policy of fair housing has been established by the clear statement of purpose in the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance enacted in 1963. It provides:
The subcommittee has addressed itself to methods of making the Chicago Ordinance work better, the action which can be taken by various governmental groups, the role of the Chicago Real Estate Board, and how to make further progress towards fair housing in the months ahead. It would be too much to expect complete agreement on either the steps to be taken or their timing. Nevertheless, the representatives at the meetings have undertaken specific and affirmative measures to attack the problem of discrimination in housing. Carrying out these commitments will require substantial investments of time and money by both private and public bodies and the wholehearted effort of many Chicagoans of good will, supported by the cooperation of thousands of others.
In the light of the commitments made and program here adopted and pledged to achieve open housing in the Chicago metropolitan community, the Chicago Freedom Movement pledges its resources to help carry out the program and agrees to a cessation of neighborhood demonstrations on the issue of open housing so long as the program is being carried out.
The subcommittee believes that the program can be a major step forward. It has confidence that this program, and the more extensive measures bound to flow from it, will achieve the objective of affording every resident "full and equal opportunity to obtain fair and adequate housing without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry."
The participants in this conference have committed themselves to the following action:
The City will continue its consistent support of fair housing legislation at the State level and will urge the adoption of such legislation at the 1967 session of the State Legislature.
As a leadership organization in Chicago, we state the fundamental principle that freedom of choice in housing is the right of every citizen. We believe all citizens should accept and honor that principle.
We have reflected carefully and have decided we willas a Chicago organizationwithdraw all opposition to the philosophy of open occupancy legislation at the state levelprovided it is applicable to owners as well as to brokersand we reserve the right to criticize detail as distinguished from philosophyand we will request the state association of Real Estate Boards to do likewise but we cannot dictate to them.
While not willing to dismiss its appeal from the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County upholding the validity of the City's Fair Housing Ordinance, the Board has committed itself effectively to remind its members of their duty to obey the ordinance and to circulate to them the interpretation of the ordinance to be furnished by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. The individual representatives of the Board also committed themselves to join other realtors to participate in a continuing organization, should one be formed, to promote effective action implementing the principle of freedom of choice in housing.
In addition, in order to maximize the usefulness of present facilities and to promote the welfare of the families living in them, a concerted effort will be made to improve the opportunities for satisfactory community life in public housing projects. In order to achieve this improvement the participation of all elements in the surrounding communities will be actively enlisted and utilized.
Department employees will be instructed to report any discriminatory refusal by real estate brokers to show rental listings to any recipient to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations or the State Department of Registration and Education through the Chief of the Bureau of Housing of the Public Aid Department. Department employees will also encourage recipients who en-counter discrimination in dealing with brokers to report such experiences to the same agencies. The Chief of the Bureau of Housing will maintain close follow-up on all matters that have been thus reported.
In relocating families, the Department of Urban Renewal will search out the best housing available regardless of location. Each employee of the Department will be reminded that no family is to be prohibited or discouraged from moving into any part of the Chicago metropolitan area because of his race, color, or national origin. Department employees will be instructed to report any discriminatory refusal by a real estate broker to show listings, to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations or the State Department of Registration and Education through the Director of Relocation. They will also encourage families who encounter discrimination in dealing with a broker to report such experiences to the same agencies. The Director of Relocation will maintain a close follow-up on all matters that have been thus reported.
The Chicago Conference on Religion and Race, which is co-sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the Church Federation of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, pledges its support to the program outlined and will enlist the full strength of its constituent bodies and their churches and synagogues in effecting equal access to housing in the metropolitan area for all people. They pledge to:
The proposed board should have sufficient stature to formulate a strong and effective program and to provide adequate financing and staff to carry out that program. To the extent of available resources, it should carry forward programs such as, but not limited to, the convening of conferences on fair housing in suburban communities to the end that the policy of the City of Chicago on fair housing will be adopted in the whole Chicago metropolitan area. There must be a major effort in the pulpits, in the school systems, and in all other available forums to educate citizens of the metropolitan area in the fundamental principle that freedom of choice in housing is the right of every citizen and in their obligations to abide by the law and recognize the rights of others regardless of race, religion, or nationality. The group should assist in the drafting of fair housing laws and ordinances. It should make clear the stake that commerce, industry, banking, real estate, and labor, indeed all residing in the metropolitan area, have in the peaceful achievement of fair housing. The group should emphasize that the metropolitan housing market is a single market. The vigor and growth of that market is dependent upon an adequate supply of standard housing available without discrimination. The group should promote such practical measures as the development of fair housing centers after the model now being established by the Chicago Conference on Religion and Race. The group should in the immediate future set up specific goals for achievement of fair housing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Finally, the board should regularly review the performance of the program undertaken by governmental and non-governmental groups, take appropriate action thereon, and provide for public reports.
Although all of the metropolitan areas of the country are confronted with the problem of segregated housing, only in Chicago have the top leaders of the religious faiths, commerce, and industry, labor and government sat down together with leaders in the civil rights movement to seek practical solutions. With the start that has been made, the subcommittee is confident that the characteristic drive of Chicagoans to achieve their goals, manifest in the Chicago motto of "I Will," will enable the Chicago metropolitan area ,to lead the rest of the nation in the solution of the problems of fair housing.
THOMAS G. AYERS, Chairman