- Latest news item posted on 12/12/2013 at 08:53 AM
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HUD to Aurora Housing Authority: Plan violates Fair Housing Act
(AURORA, Ill., Dec. 11, 2013)
-- Following a complaint from fair housing groups, the federal agency that governs the Aurora Housing Authority has found the AHA’s decision to pursue another housing plan instead of rebuilding at Jericho Circle violates the Fair Housing Act.
In a letter to AHA Board Chairman Henry Champen, HUD official Maurice McGough writes that the Housing Authority has been found in violation of the Civil Rights Act “and its duty to affirmatively further fair housing.” McGough is regional director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
On April 25, the West-Chicago based HOPE Fair Housing Center and Tonya Hayes filed a housing discrimination complaint with HUD against the AHA. On May 13, Shirley Fraction filed an additional complaint. The complaints allege that the AHA violated the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act when officials decided not to move forward with a rebuild of mixed-income housing at the Jericho Circle site in February 2013.
Following the complaints, HUD’s FHEO Chicago office conducted an eight-month investigation.
FULL STORY at beaconnews.suntimes.com
HUD finally stirs on housing discrimination
(DALLAS, Dec. 09, 2013)
-- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has accused Dallas, one of the nation's largest cities, of violating civil rights law through housing practices that discriminated against black, Latino and disabled residents.
#HUD officials laid out the results of a four-year investigation in a letter sent to city leaders late last month. HUD found that Dallas, which accepted tens of millions in federal dollars with promises of using that money to help integrate the deeply divided city, had instead "subjected persons to segregation" and "restricted access to housing choice." The city, the letter said, had denied local residents opportunities to participate in housing programs "because of race, national origin and disability."
The agency has given the city 30 days to respond to the accusations, which jeopardize millions in annual HUD funding.
FULL STORY at jacksonfreepress.com
Hotel Louisville offers hope along with a room
(LOUISVILLE, Dec. 08, 2013)
-- Six-year-old Sheylin Christian sat on the hotel room bed in her Snoopy pajamas playing a computer game as her mom recounted the desperate night they searched for a place to sleep under an overpass.
“A year ago, we were staying at the Salvation Army, which is only a night shelter, and we’d missed the bus to get back. I was lost,” Adina Basham, 42, said, her words interrupted by an ambulance siren on West Broadway.
Though they eventually found their way to Kosair Children’s Hospital, where hours-long testing on Sheylin’s persistent cough gave them indoor shelter, “It was very scary,” Basham said of that night.
FULL STORY at courier-journal.com
DOJ files lawsuit alleging disability-based discrimination at Hartville, Ohio, condo complex
(WASHINGTON, Dec. 04, 2013)
-- The Justice Department filed a lawsuit late yesterday against the owners, builders and designers of a 54-unit condominium complex in Hartville, Ohio, for violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the law when they designed and constructed the complex with barriers that make it inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
“Since 1991, the Fair Housing Act has required that when new multifamily housing is built, it be accessible to persons with disabilities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the department’s Civil Rights Division. “When condominium complexes are built with steps and other barriers, those with disabilities are denied that equal housing opportunity.”
“We will continue to work to make sure people with disabilities are free to live where they choose, as is their legal right,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach for the Northern District of Ohio.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland alleges that various barriers at the Windham Bridge property in Hartville deny persons with disabilities equal access to 52 condominiums and the associated public and common-use areas at the property that are covered by the FHA. Such barriers include inaccessible building entrances; no accessible parking spaces; insufficient accessible routes into and through the units; and kitchens and bathrooms that are inaccessible to persons in wheelchairs.
FULL STORY at realestaterama.com
Island Park tentatively agrees to settle housing lawsuit
(Island Park, N.Y., Dec. 03, 2013)
-- Island Park has reached a $1.96 million tentative settlement with the federal government after a two-decade legal battle in which village officials were accused of violating fair-housing laws and diverting to their friends and family homes earmarked for minorities in the 1980s.
Village and federal officials signed a consent decree on Nov. 8 to settle the 1990 lawsuit brought against the village for allegedly illegally steering some of more than 40 federally subsidized homes away from minorities that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program aimed to help.
The decree is awaiting the approval of U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser.
"The government and the village have engaged in complex negotiations in the past four years," said Paul Millus, the village's attorney. "This is an appropriate settlement that benefits the residents of the Village of Island Park."
FULL STORY at newsday.com
HUD: Dallas affordable-housing practices break civil rights laws
(DALLAS, Dec. 03, 2013)
-- Dallas officials promote discrimination against minorities and the disabled through affordable-housing practices that violate federal civil rights laws, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation has found.
According to a 29-page letter outlining the initial findings, “the evidence shows that there was a pattern of negative reactions to projects that would provide affordable housing in the northern sector of Dallas and that those decisions were inconsistent with the goals required by HUD program obligations.”
City Council member Scott Griggs, vice chairman of the council housing committee, said the HUD letter confirms the long-standing image of Dallas as a city divided between a northern sector for better-off people who can pay market-rate rents and a southern sector for low-income people who need rent subsidies.
FULL STORY at dallasnews.com