Group Pushes HUD to Withhold Houston’s Harvey Relief Funds for ‘Segregation’ Fix

Hurricane Harvey
Win McNamee/Getty

A liberal Texas activist group asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to hold Hurricane Harvey relief funds and other grant monies from Houston until the City fully addresses policies that promote “racial discrimination and perpetuation of segregation.”

Texas Low Income Housing Information Services (TxLIHS) cited HUD’s determination on January 11, 2017, that the City violated Title VI.

TxLIHS sent a letter, which is attached to an article in the Houston Chronicle, demanding that HUD:

[E]xamine the validity of the current civil rights certifications of the City of Houston (City) and the Houston Housing Authority (HHA), and any forthcoming certifications related to applications for HUD funding, including entitlement funds, discretionary funds and funds available pursuant to appropriations under the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.

TxLIHS wrote HUD alleged “evidence of intentional racial discrimination and perpetuation of segregation” and offered its letter to “articulat[e] additional compelling evidence to support” the federal government’s findings.

The low-income housing advocacy group charges, “given this evidence, HUD must act promptly to declare the certifications inaccurate and unsatisfactory to the Secretary, Civil Rights Requirements and Certifications Applicable to the City and HHA.”

TsHILS adds that in order to receive federal funds, the City and the Houston Housing Authority must certify their compliance with Title VI, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and other federal laws aimed at preventing discrimination.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) disputed HUD’s finding, and the city attorney’s office asked HUD in February to withdraw its conclusion. HUD reportedly accused the mayor of “rejecting a proposed subsidized housing complex near the Galleria.” The Obama Administration also alleged that the City’s procedures perpetuate segregation because it allows wealthy neighborhoods to keep housing projects at a discriminatory distance.

As reported extensively by Breitbart Texas, the greater Houston metro area and other communities were devastated by tropical storm and hurricane Harvey. The state and its citizens are still reeling from the devastation.

The Houston paper notes that TsHILS is pressing a separate civil rights investigation against the City of Houston over flood mitigation concerns in minority neighborhoods in the aftermath of Harvey.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on GAB @lanashadwick and Twitter @LanaShadwick2.


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