WASHINGTON, DC – May 13, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority in Medina, Ohio, resolving allegations the housing authority discriminated against African Americans in the administration of its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, a violation of Title VI of the Civil Right Act of 1964 (Title VI) and the Fair Housing Act. Read HUD’s agreement with the Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority.
Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. In addition, the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the rental or sale of housing or to impose different terms and conditions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.
“We’re pleased we could reach this agreement with the Medina Housing Authority to address problems with their residency requirements,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work with housing providers, including housing authorities, to help them meet their obligation to comply with the nation’s fair housing laws.”
The Medina Housing Authority had a residency preference point system that effectively imposed a residency requirement, thus putting African Americans who did not live or work in Medina County at a disadvantage.
Under the agreement, the housing authority will create a $35,000 relocation assistance fund, with payments of $500 per household, to support persons moving into Medina County with a Housing Choice voucher. The housing authority will also eliminate its residency preference, purge its waiting list, and provide voucher assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the housing authority will market its voucher program to minorities who do not live or work in the county and develop a plan to increase access to its services by persons whose ability to read or write English is limited.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.