Taxpayers are still paying landlords as dozens of children are being poisoned by brain-damaging lead while living in homes and apartments declared safe by the Chicago Housing Authority.
The Chicago Tribune reports that federal law requires the CHA to inspect subsidized homes before families move in and at least annually afterward.
But a newspaper analysis shows that for the past seven years, at least one child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning in 187 homes the housing authority approved for occupancy.
The analysis found that the CHA paid the landlords of the hazardous homes over $5.6 million in federal rent subsidies, with nearly $1 million delivered to landlords facing housing code violations or lawsuits regarding deteriorating lead-based paint.
The majority of subsidized rentals are in low-income, predominantly African-American neighborhoods.