HUD, Carson Sued For Suspending Obama-Era Desegregation Rule

Alex Brandon/AP

Several fair housing advocates plan to file a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday for suspending a 2015 rule that requires housing developments to desegregate their communities in order to receive federal funds.

According to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the lawsuit, the 2015 Obama-era rule requires public housing developments to assess and develop plans to end racial segregation within their communities or risk losing federal housing funding. The rule, which allowed for enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, also required communities to submit plans every five years.

But HUD, under Carson, suspended the rule in January, arguing the rule was unnecessarily burdensome on public housing communities and that HUD was devoting too many resources to helping the developments revise their desegregation plans, according to the Post. Carson has also been vocal about his opposition to the use of federal dollars to desegregate communities, calling the efforts “failed socialist experiments.”

The three fair housing advocates that plan to file the lawsuit Tuesday argue the law was suspended illegally because no advance notice was given to the public before it was suspended. In a statement shared with TPM Tuesday, the president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the lead counsel in this case, said the group hopes the suit will hold Carson and HUD accountable for the rule suspension.

“With this lawsuit, the civil rights community is standing up to Secretary Ben Carson and fighting back against an egregious attempt to roll back a hard fought victory,” the group’s President Kristen Clarke said in the statement. “The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule is a critical part of ongoing work to address structural racism and inequality today. Through this lawsuit, we are taking action to hold HUD accountable and ensure that HUD fulfills its mission of addressing ongoing racial segregation and housing discrimination which persist across the country today.”

Read the Post’s full story here. Read the complaint shared with TPM below:

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