Black residents to get reparations in Evanston, Illinois

(BBC) – A suburb of Chicago is to become the first city in the United States to pay reparations to black residents who have suffered housing discrimination.

The city council in Evanston, Illinois, voted 8-1 to distribute $25,000 (£18,000) each to 16 eligible black households to use for home repairs or as down payments on property.

The funds come mostly from a new tax on legalised marijuana.

Black Americans were disadvantaged by racist housing decisions.

To be eligible, residents must be a black person who lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969, or a descendant of such a person. The family must also have been a victim of discrimination in housing because of policies or practices in the city in that time.

Evanston has pledged distribute $10 million over a decade. Around 16% of the city’s residents are black.

White residents in Evanston out-earn black residents by $46,000 a year.

“We’re very excited to see the first national direct benefit from some of the harms we’ve had to experience from the past,” Kamm Howard, co-chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, told CBS News.

“The more local initiatives occur, the more impetus there is on the federal government to act.”

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