Agreement Reached In Tribal Land Loan Dispute

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have reached an agreement with Rocket Mortgage after the company allegedly denied a loan to a couple hoping to buy a home on tribal land. According to a press release, the single-family home was located within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation in St. Ignatius, Montana. Because Rocket denied the couple’s loan application based on race, they were “forced to pay a higher interest rate and accept a loan from another lender on less favorable terms.” Rocket and the banker involved in the complaint deny any violation of the law under the agreement. They do acknowledge their duty to not discriminate under the Fair Housing Act.…

California Apartment Building Owner Charged With Discriminating Against A Growing Family

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A California apartment building owner who suggested a couple move into a bigger unit to accommodate their growing family is being charged with discrimination by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials. Melinda Teruel is accused of making repeated efforts to convince the couple to move into a larger apartment in the city of Burlingame even though they told her they could not afford it. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against families with children under the age of 18. “As HUD prepares to commemorate Fair Housing Month during April 2023, this charge of discrimination is a reminder that the fight for fair housing must continue,” Demetria McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing…

HUD Officials To Fight Inequities In Housing With New Proposed Rule

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A new proposed rule meeting President Joe Biden’s call to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act was announced by officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday. “Affirmatively furthering fair housing means more than merely steering clear of housing discrimination violations,” Demetria McCain, principal deputy assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a statement. “Today, HUD is taking new, bold action to eliminate the historic patterns of segregation that continue to harm American families. This action will help make the purpose of the Fair Housing Act reality by making it easier for local communities to identify inequities and make concrete commitments to address them.” According to a press release, the rule…

$3.3 Million In Funding Available To Combat COVID-19 Housing Discrimination

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are making an additional $3,285,353 in American Rescue Plan funding available to help fight housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on Tuesday and according to a press release, this is the third round of American Rescue Plan funding that targets COVID-19 related discrimination. About $16.1 million in funding has been awarded to 62 HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agencies to address the impact the pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations. Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal…

CT Town Will Pay $350,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit as Biden Admin Promotes Housing for Disabled

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice have announced a settlement in a lawsuit against a Connecticut town that refused to allow the operation of a group home for people with mental health disabilities. The DOJ lawsuit alleges officials in Wolcott, Conn. violated the Fair Housing Act when they denied a special use permit to L&R Realty and SELF, Inc. to open a residence for 13 geriatric adults with mental health disabilities. Lawyers at the Justice Department filed suit last December. “Local governments do not have the right to use zoning laws and restrictions as a vehicle to discriminate against people with disabilities,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in…