Civil Rights Groups Sue U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Over Suspension of Rule Assisting Low-Income Families, October 23, 2017, available here
Today, several civil rights organizations sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) challenging its decision to suspend a rule that would have assisted low-income families in securing affordable housing. Five organizations – the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC law firm, the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) and Public Citizen Litigation Group– represent the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The federal government’s Housing Choice Voucher program—formerly known as the Section 8 voucher program—subsidizes the housing costs of more than two million low-income American households. HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rent (Small Area FMR) rule would have improved the way that the value of housing vouchers is calculated by allowing low-income families access to a broader market of rental properties. The lawsuit challenges HUD’s delay of the rule’s implementation.
The lead plaintiff, Open Communities Alliance, is a Connecticut-based fair housing organization that works to undo government policies that promote housing segregation. The Alliance is based in Hartford—one of the 23 metro areas affected by HUD’s suspension of the rule.