|HUD No. 00-282|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Monday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||October 2, 2000|
HUD COMMENT ON CITY OF ELGIN, IL RESPONSE TO HUD MONITORING REPORT
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on August 1, 2000 issued a monitoring report that detailed evidence indicating that the City had breached a September 1999 conciliation agreement with HUD to end discriminatory practices in inspecting Hispanic-owned or occupied homes for occupancy code violations.
The HUD monitoring report summarized a two-month HUD review of city inspection practices from October 1999 through March 2000 to determine whether the City of Elginís practices had improved since the conciliation agreement went into effect.
In the 1999 agreement, City officials denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay a sum of $10,000 to seven families who had lodged complaints and to change the manner in which home inspections were conducted.
The primary thrust of the monitoring reports was that in spite of the 1999 conciliation agreement, code enforcement continues to fall disproportionately on Hispanic families. Nothing in the Cityís response today eliminates this concern.
Although problems remain, we are encouraged by changes the City has made as a result of HUDís August monitoring report, particularly a change in policy that now mandates that all administrative inspection warrants and supporting affidavits must be reviewed by the city attorney before any warrant application is made to the court.
The fact remains that the City has not done enough. HUD and the City are in negotiations regarding an agreement to provide additional measures to protect Hispanic residents of Elgin against illegal housing discrimination in the future. HUD and the City have agreed to an October 24 deadline to reach this agreement. This agreement will then be subject to city council approval, which HUD will require within 30 days.
HUD remains committed to working with the City of Elgin to eliminate any illegal housing discrimination.