CHA Wants to Require Drug Testing

The Chicago Housing Authority wants to require its residents to get drug testing

By Sandra Torres
|  Friday, May 27, 2011  |  Updated 9:30 AM CDT
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CHA Wants to Require Drug Testing

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The Chicago Housing Authority is proposing new policy changes that are sparking some controversy.

The CHA wants to require anyone who is 18 years or older, even senior citizens who live in or plan to apply for housing, to get drug tested.

A positive drug test would mean leaseholders could be evicted, according to agency officials.

The agency hopes the measure, which applies to about 16,000 families living in public housing, will help fight crime, especially drug-related crimes.

Another proposal includes eliminating the "innocent tenant defense," which means tenants can be evicted when a relative or guest commit a drug-related or violent crime, according to the Sun-Times.

The CHA tells the Sun-Times that several of the public housing buildings already require drug testing and that these policies would make the communities safer.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the agency is placing a double standard on the poor.

A public hearing on the changes will be held at 6 p.m. June 2 at the Charles A. Hayes Center, at 4455 S. King Drive.

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