|HUD No. 00-280|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Tuesday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||October 3, 2000|
STATEMENT BY LISA MACSPADDEN, DIRECTOR, HUD PUBLIC AFFAIRS
"Secretary Cuomo has established a policy of zero tolerance against civil rights violations and housing discrimination. The federal government has a basic responsibility to ensure that everyone’s civil rights are protected. Fundamental fairness is non-negotiable.
On September 28, 2000, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ordered the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to commence a takeover of the operations of the Beaumont Housing Authority after the authority repeatedly resisted HUD’s efforts to restore sound management practices and strong civil rights protections to the authority’s operations. The takeover of the Beaumont Housing Authority was a necessary step to help those who need help most.
The Court’s decision was based on a HUD investigation which, in January 2000, uncovered serious violations of civil rights laws by the authority. The violations included failure by the BHA to keep records required to assess compliance with civil rights laws, failure to conduct proper annual audits; improperly selling public housing properties; and failing to use public housing funds to benefit low-income families.
Today in Washington, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo will announce plans to quickly and effectively accomplish a smooth transition of BHA operations to ensure that the interests of authority residents, taxpayers and the U.S. government are no longer at risk."