The Justice Department’s civil rights division announced in mid-December that it had filed a lawsuit against the Lone Wolf Oklahoma City Housing Authority and two of its former employees alleging the agency shared them with a white applicant who had units, However, in which it was stated in conversation with black applicants, all were already occupied.
To investigate the allegations, law enforcement officials who helped the African-American woman secure housing conducted a live test and confirmed that housing authority officials told a white woman that multiple apartments were available and left their preview on three free apartments. The next day, however, the same officers told the black woman that nothing was available.
The Department of Justice’s complaint against Lone Wolf Housing Authority (WD Okla.) States: “The defendants were discriminated against on grounds of race, which violated the Fair Housing Act and Title VI when they denied the complainant’s apartment application Underage child on the pretext of lack of available housing and further misrepresentation of the availability of housing for a black tester after the defendants showed the companion tester numerous available units. “
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Other defendants named in the case include former Housing Authority employees David M. Haynes and Myrna Hess. The complaint states: “At all relevant times, Mr. Haynes participated in the ongoing operations of the Housing Authority including, but not limited to, performing maintenance, managing the property, monitoring and managing the availability of housing and liaising with it prospective customers residents looking for an apartment and approving and rejecting rental applications. At all relevant times, Ms. Hess participated in the ongoing operations of the Housing Authority including, but not limited to, monitoring and managing the availability of housing, contacting potential residents, finding housing, processing rental applications, keeping records and handling additional managerial responsibilities during times when Mr. Haynes was away from the Housing Authority’s rental office. “
Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunities, said: “It is difficult enough for families to find decent affordable housing without their race restricted options. HUD welcomes today’s action and will continue to work with the Department of Justice to take appropriate action if the country’s fair housing laws are violated. “
Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division added, “Denial of housing based on race or color is a serious violation of the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination from those who receive federal taxpayers money to house low-income applicants is particularly horrific. The Justice Department will not tolerate any form of illegal housing discrimination, and we will continue to fight to protect the right of all Americans to rent and own their homes regardless of race or color. “
The federal law on fair living prohibits discrimination in housing construction based on race, skin color, religion, gender, marital status, national origin or disability. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs that receive federal funding.
Records from the US Census Bureau show that less than 1% of the city’s 400 or so residents are black. The federal lawsuit demands monetary damages for the mother and a court order that prohibits further discrimination.
Oklahoma Housing Agency faces federal discrimination lawsuit
UNITED STATES V. LONE WOLF HOUSING AUTHORITY (WD OKLA.)
The DOJ is filing a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Oklahoma Housing Authority
The Department of Justice is filing a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Oklahoma Housing Authority