Hills v. Gautreaux

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Hills v. Gautreaux
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 20, 1976
Decided April 20, 1976
Full case name Hills, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development v Gautreaux et al.
Citations 425 U.S. 284 (more)
S.Ct. 1538, 47 L. Ed. 2d 792
Prior history Appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Racially discriminatory public housing programs violate the 5th Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1964, and remedial action to alleviate the effects of such a practice not only is appropriate but also extends beyond city limits to the housing market of the city.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
Majority Stewart, joined by Burger, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist
Concurrence Marshall, joined by Brennan, White
Stevens took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. Amend. V; Civil Rights Act of 1964

Hills v. Gautreaux, 425 U.S. 284 (1976), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court.

In this case, a number of Chicago families living in housing projects were awarded Section 8 vouchers allowing them to move to the suburbs in compensation for the housing project's substandard conditions. Carla Anderson Hills was the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; the eponymous lead respondent was Dorothy Gautreaux. The court ruled that the department had violated the Fifth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The significance of the case lies in the sociological conclusions that can be drawn from it. A number of families chose to move, while others stayed, and Northwestern University researchers studying the two populations concluded that low-income women who moved to the suburbs "clearly experienced improved employment and earnings, even though the program provided no job training or placement services."[1] The disparity arguably proves that concentrated poverty is self-perpetuating and simply alleviating this concentration offers an avenue for improving the quality of life of those afflicted by urban poverty.

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