High-Risers by Ben Austen and Waiting for Gautreaux by Alexander Polikoff Book Covers

Public Housing in Chicago: A Moderated Discussion with Ben Austen and Alex Polikoff

Public housing projects in Chicago date back to 1937.  In the early years, the “Neighborhood Composition Rule” required that the tenants of a housing development be of the same race as the people of the area in which it was located.  In the next several decades the Chicago Housing Authority built over 160 high-rise buildings with approximately 19,700 apartments for families.  In 1966 a group of tenants sued the Authority, alleging that the agency was perpetuating racial segregation by building these high-rise buildings in under-served areas of the city.  In Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority, a federal judge enjoined the Authority from building additional family housing in black residential areas.

Join us on November 14, 2019 at Sidley Austin for lunch and a discussion with Ben Austen and Alex Polikoff moderated by Barbara Barreno-Paschall about public housing in Chicago.

Ben Austen is the Author of High Risers, the story of America’s public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities.  It is an account told movingly through the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the housing complex’s demise.

Alex Polikoff has served as lead counsel in the landmark Gautreaux public housing litigation for more than 50 years. He is the author of three books, The Path Still Open: A Greater Chance for Peace Than Ever Before (2009), Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing, and the Black Ghetto (2006), and Housing the Poor: The Case for Heroism (1978).

Moderator Barbara Barreno-Paschall is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Housing Opportunity Project.

Online registration is available below, or you may RSVP by emailing attorneys@lawyersclubchicago.org.

November 14, 2019

One S. Dearborn, Ste. 900
Chicago, Illinois

11:30 a.m. Registration
12:00 p.m. Lunch and Program
1:30 p.m. Adjournment

Tickets are $25.00 for Members and $30.00 for Guests. 

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel your reservation, call 312.360.6428 or email attorneys@lawyersclubchicago.org 72 hours in advance of the event to avoid receiving an invoice or to receive a refund if you have prepaid.

Registration Policies:  Because our events are open to Club members and their guests only, please understand that the purchase of a ticket will not assure admittance to any of our events.  Please also note that online registration automatically adds registrants to the Club’s email distribution list.  If you wish to stop receiving Club emails, please notify us at attorneys@lawyersclubchicago.org.

You can apply for membership here.


Hourly Schedule

11:30 am -
12:00 pm -
Lunch and Program
1:30 pm -


Nov 14 2019


11:30 am - 1:30 pm




One S. Dearborn, Ste. 900, Chicago, Illinois


The Lawyers Club of Chicago
(312) 804-9889
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