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Civil Rights Groups are planning Sue HUD on Fair Housing Rule



Civil rights lawyers plan to sue the Trump administration on Tuesday before enforcing the 50-year-old Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination in allocating funds for hurricane housing and rebuilding Gulf Coast infrastructure. [196592002] On Tuesday, a coalition of national and Texas housing groups will petition the Federal District Court in Washington to reintroduce an Obama era rule requiring communities to receive federal funding to present their plans to end racial segregation Race, income, ethnicity or physical disability

Ben Carson, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, this year has adopted the scheme known as "Affirmative Further Fair Housing" because of concerns that local governments are overburdened, that must allocate resources to generate the plans.

The defendants who file the lawsuit argue that the actions of Mr. Carson violate the plans e 1968 Housing Act, a law that is about to be assassinated by Martin Luther King Jr. The lawsuit claims that Mr. Carson's HUD leaves without a system to prevent a pattern of discrimination in providing $ 28 billion in disaster relief after a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, last year.

The fight focuses on an affirmative fair housing rule, which was introduced in 2015 after two years of study and public hearings. At the time, Julian Castro, Mr. Carson's predecessor as HUD Secretary, said the ordinance would "give all Americans access to safe, affordable housing in communities that are rich in opportunities."

But lawyers say the administration did not do this They are concerned that the HUD can discriminate against vulnerable populations if they provide funds to rebuild areas damaged by natural disasters.

Lisa Rice, president of the National Fair Housing Alliance, belongs to the group's lawsuit, said the process should prevent racial bias in the reconstruction of housing, drainage systems and other infrastructure. The group wants to ensure that black, Hispanic and low-income residents of Houston and Corpus Christi are not endangered in another natural disaster.

"This is the fight that Dr. King introduced himself 50 years later," Ms. Rice said.

Madison Sloan, director of Texas Appleseed Disaster Recovery & Fair Housing Project, another plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the lawsuit was about not leaving people behind.

"We know that disasters are different impacts on the most vulnerable populations, especially communities of color," she said. "In the past, segregation has catapulted these communities into areas that are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, and we need to ensure that we rebuild in a way that remedies these inequalities rather than perpetuating them."

Speaker of the HUD did not return a call for comments.

Mr. Carson has said he has moved the rule to give the towns more time to comply. But his earlier comments point to a lack of affinity for delivery. In a 2015 conservative Washington Times editorial, Carson criticized the effort to paint ideological terms, called it "social engineering," and prophesied that its enforcement would repeat "the failure of the school bus" in the 1970s. 19659002] Mr. Carson said during the testimony given to congressional committees last month that he intended to comply with other regulations of the department that would have to direct the majority of disaster relief to the most needy.

But he gave little information about the determination of the Obama era Toward the end of last month, he met with fair lawyers by rejecting their demands to reintroduce the rule. Some department officials said that Carson's efforts at the HUD have so far slowed down enforcement and investigation into some fair housing violations.

Housing separation has long been a problem for HUD and has landed former secretaries in the crosshairs.

George Romney, the first HUD secretary, clashed with President Richard M. Nixon as he sought to withhold federal funds for sewer, highway, water, and infrastructure projects in areas that favored racial segregation. Mr. Nixon blocked the program, known as "Open Communities."

Mr. Romney, the father of former Republican presidential candidate and current Utah Senator Mitt Romney, continued the plan and was eventually thrown out of the cabinet.


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