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HUD and city of Dubuque, Iowa settle allegations of discrimination against African Americans
     (WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2014) -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with the city of Dubuque, Iowa, settling allegations that the City discriminated against African Americans in the administration of its Housing Choice Voucher Program.
     Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
     The agreement announced today is the result of a review HUD conducted in June 2011, which found that Dubuque imposed policies that discriminated against housing choice voucher applicants based on their race. Specifically, the review found that, in response to racial tensions and concerns about crime, the City established a residency preference point system that effectively imposed a residency requirement, putting those from predominantly African American areas at a disadvantage.
     “HUD makes certain that people from all communities are given equal and meaningful access to taxpayer-funded programs,” said Bryan Greene, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work with state and municipal governments to ensure that no one is denied housing choice or housing assistance because of his or her race.” NEWS RELEASE from HUD

Condo association forced couple to sell when second baby arrived, lawsuit claims
     (GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 10, 2014) -- When Charles Cairn and his wife, Jinghong Zhao, brought their second child home to their condominium on the city’s West Side, the arrival was greeted with less than joy by their neighbors.
     “Congratulations. What are you going to do for housing?” one of their neighbors at Grosse Pointe Estate Condominiums asked the couple, according to a March 26 lawsuit they filed in U.S. District Court.
     The condominium association rules barred more than three residents in their three-bedroom two-level unit, according to a lawsuit Cairns filed against the condo association and its property manager, Select One Property Management, Inc.
     The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal Fair Housing Act and seeks damages costs associated with their move to Ada, punitive damages and damages for emotional distress, according to Stephen Dane, their Washington, D.C.-based lawyer. FULL STORY in The Grand Rapids Press

Feds sue Oyster Bay, allege housing discrimination
     (OYSTER BAY, N.Y., April 10, 2014) -- The U.S. Department of Justice sued the Town of Oyster Bay and Town Supervisor John Venditto Thursday for allegedly discriminating against black people in two affordable housing programs -- one aimed at first-time buyers, the other at senior citizens.
     In a complaint filed in federal court in Central Islip, prosecutors said both programs violated the federal Fair Housing Act because preferences were given to residents, or their children, living in the town, which has few black residents. To ensure that black people were not discriminated against in the selection process, the town should have given equal treatment to prospective occupants from the larger, more diverse metropolitan area, the complaint said.
     "Housing programs designed to help young families and senior citizens purchase homes should be available to people of all races, including African-Americans," Eastern District U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement Thursday. "To the extent residency preferences prevent families and senior citizens from purchasing homes because of race, ethnicity or color, the preferences violate federal law and cannot be tolerated." FULL STORY in Newsday

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