Justice Department Sues Housing Authority for Race Discrimination

The Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit alleging that the Housing Authority for the City of Ruston, La., has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-American applicants and residents in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

The Ruston Housing Authority is a public housing authority that provides housing for persons of low income in Ruston. Currently, the housing authority owns and maintains five housing complexes in Ruston, according to the Justice Department.

The complaint alleges that the housing authority maintained racially segregated communities by steering and assigning applicants to its five complexes based on race, rather than in order of their placement on its waiting list. The complaint also alleges that the housing authority’s discriminatory assignment practices have harmed dozens of applicants and residents who were assigned to segregated housing or delayed housing because of their race.

“Access to housing free from racial discrimination is everyone’s right, including those who seek public housing assistance,” Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “The department will continue its vigorous enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.”

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to addressing unlawful discriminatory practices and enforcing anti-discrimination laws,” added Stephanie A. Finley, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. “Today’s filing is an example of our continuing efforts to end discrimination.”

Source: U.S. Department of Justice