Mansfield Housing Authority case reaches settlement

September 30, 2016
The Mansfield Housing Authority (MHA) has reached a settlement of $180,000 for allegations of discrimination based on race. The settlement was announced by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center on Aug. 30.
     The case was brought forth by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center on behalf of Equalla Jenkins, who was denied access to a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher by the MHA in 2014. Although she was eligible for the program according to both state and federal law, she was refused access. The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal program that is designed to assist low income families to afford housing in the private sector.
     According to federal law, housing authorities such as the MHA receive federal funds on the condition that they be used for the voucher program. The Mansfield Housing Authority in particular is responsible for implementing this program in the towns of Mansfield, Ashford, Coventry, Willington and Chaplin.
     Jenkins, who is African American, had made it through the initial stages of the application for the voucher program, but was ultimately denied due to policies of the MHA.
     Particularly, the housing authority had speculated that she would be unable to maintain her job in Middletown from the Mansfield area. Although Jenkins had made plans for getting to work, the MHA had required her to provide proof that she had a car.