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Ben Carson Just Got Sued For Delaying Anti-Segregation Housing Reform


Ben Carson Just Got Sued For Delaying Anti-Segregation Housing Reform

A coalition of Civil rights organizations on Monday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its secretary, Ben Carson after HUD for delaying the implementation of a new an anti-segregation policy.

The policy, known as the Small Area Fair Market Rent rule was set to go into effect on January 1, 2018, after years of advocacy, research, and public debate. In August, however, HUD abruptly announced it would be delaying the rule’s implementation for two years, claiming that further study was needed.

As reported by The Intercept, the suit is aimed at stopping Secretary Carson from causing further racial and economic segregation.

The publication notes that more than 5 million people in 2.2 million households use federal housing choice vouchers — colloquially referred to as Section 8, referencing the statute that created the subsidies — to help afford rent on the private market.

The subsidies, however, are based on metropolitan-wide rent formulas, meaning that many low-income families are often relegated into communities with few job opportunities, poor schools, and high crime. The rule change would have required — or will require — public housing authorities to calculate so-called fair market rents based on ZIP-codes instead.

“The delay of this rule will have a segregative effect, denying these primarily African-American families who would want to move out of their neighborhoods the chance to do so,” a senior counsel with the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit, told The Intercept.

He added; “This case is about more than just housing. It’s really about people who want to move to better and safer neighborhoods but they can’t because of the value of their voucher. It’s about schools and transportation and doctor visits and grocery stores that people want to be able to access to support their families.”

The lawsuit argues that HUD’s failure to implement the Small Area rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act, the statute which governs how federal agencies propose and implement regulations.

This lawsuit is the latest in a series filed over the past nine months against the Trump administration for violating the act.

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