In a 29-page letter dated November 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that the City of Dallas, TX, was in noncompliance with a number of fair housing and civil rights laws. The finding came as a result of a complaint filed by Curtis Lockey and Craig MacKenzie, affordable housing developers, who had proposed a low-income housing development in downtown. The developers contended that the City’s refusal to allow the project to be built was discriminatory based on race, national origin, and disability. The developers are represented by Michael Allen, with the civil rights firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax, based in Washington, D.C.
A Dallas Observer blog posting about the HUD findings notes:
Lockey and MacKenzie, now supported by HUD, accuse the city of conspiring to kill their 1600 Pacific project in order to stop it from being available to poor renters who receive federal rent subsidies. The HUD letter quotes the city’s director of economic development, Karl Zavitkovsky, as saying the city didn’t want any Section 8 voucher recipients in the building at all.
The HUD finding has been likened to the lawsuit brought by the New York-based Anti-Discrimination Center against Westchester County, NY. In the Westchester case, a federal judge ruled that the County had engaged in repeated false reprsentations that it was in compliance with fair housing laws. The Westchester case was settled in 2009 with the County agreeing to $62 million in relief and damages.
To read HUD’s letter regarding the City of Dallas, click here.
To read a blog posting on the Dallas Observer, about HUD’s findings, click here.