Policy | November 16, 2022

HUD Finds Provider Discriminated, Retaliated

BY Linda Couch

On November 14, HUD announced that a Section 202/8 HUD senior housing provider and its property management firm, neither of whom are LeadingAge members or partners, discriminated against two tenants, a mother and daughter living in separate units, by failing to adequately respond to known serious racial harassment and then also retaliated by moving to terminate their tenancy.

The findings reveal repeated racist attacks on the tenants and the daughter’s boyfriend, appeals from the harassed tenants to the property manager and owner to address the attacks, and ultimately retaliation by the management company and the owner against the tenants.

Eventually, the property management firm and owner moved to evict the harassed mother and the harassers. After the attacked mother vacated her unit the perpetrators were allowed to remain and were offered new leases.

HUD’s investigation found Cushing Housing and Oklahoma Property Management, Inc. are non-compliant with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

“HUD will attempt to seek remedial relief for the complainants and public interest relief through changes to policies and procedures through a Voluntary Compliance Agreement/Conciliation Agreement in an effort to make the complainant whole and eliminate discriminatory practices,” HUD said in a statement. “Bigotry and racial discrimination have no place in housing. It is inexcusable for a HUD-funded housing provider to discriminate and retaliate against its tenants while denying them the ability to peacefully enjoy their housing,” Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said. “This Letter of Findings of Noncompliance demonstrates HUD’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that entities receiving HUD funding comply with their civil rights obligations and that all individuals have the opportunity to live in HUD-assisted housing, free from discrimination.”

Read HUD’s Letter of Findings here; read HUD’s press release here.