Hartford Tenant Lawsuit Alleges HUD Violated Fair Housing Act

A group of former residents from Hartford’s North End is taking on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Center for Leadership and Justice filed suit on their behalf Wednesday, claiming that HUD failed to reduce segregation when giving them options for new housing.

Tenants endured black mold hanging from the ceiling. Mothers watched mice run through their children’s cribs on the baby monitor. These were among the claims detailed by members of the groups filing the suit outside Barbour Garden Apartments Wednesday.

“Every family we talked to who had kids had at least one kid with asthma, which can be triggered or exacerbated by mold,” said Erin Boggs, executive director of the Open Communities Alliance, one of the groups working on the lawsuit.

“One of our clients discussed how she had witnessed -- outside her building with her son -- an execution-style shooting,” Boggs said of one of the tenants who spoke at Wednesday’s news conference. Many of the tenants reported traumatizing conditions and said they felt trapped because the vouchers for housing were attached to their apartments, not themselves, said Boggs.

Hartford Tenant Lawsuit Alleges HUD Violated Fair Housing Act, Ali Oshinskie, WNPR, Nov. 18, 2020, available here

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