New York to intervene in fair housing suit against HUD

by Francis Monfort16 May 2018

New York State is moving to intervene in a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development over allegations that it failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced.

New York is the first state in the nation to move to join in the national lawsuit.

The case, National Fair Housing Alliance et al v. Carson, was brought by civil rights groups to block HUD from unnecessarily delaying implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule's requirement for an Assessment of Fair Housing. The National Fair Housing Alliance, nonprofit Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, and public interest justice center Texas Appleseed filed the suit.

The lawsuit follows by the Trump administration’s postponement of the implementation of the requirement that local governments conduct an in-depth analysis of fair housing. The state claims that by suspending the requirement, HUD effectively quit its obligation to provide civil rights oversight for as much as $5.5 billion per year in funding that is distributed to almost 1,000 jurisdictions across the country.

New York State’s intervention will be supported by evidence demonstrating that HUD's failure to adequately enforce the Fair Housing Act will harm residents and communities in New York State. The state's motion also establishes that HUD has abdicated its statutory requirement to administer its programs in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing for years to come.

"As a former HUD Secretary, it is unconscionable to me that the agency entrusted to protect against housing discrimination is abdicating its responsibility, and New York will not stand by and allow the federal government to undo decades of progress in housing rights," Cuomo said. "The right to rent or buy housing free from discrimination is fundamental under the law, and we must do everything in our power to protect those rights and fight segregation in our communities."


Related stories:
HUD faces lawsuit over delay of fair housing rule
HUD takes first step to reconsider disparate impact regulation



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