|HUD No. 10-180
August 19, 2010
HUD AND CINCINNATI METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY SETTLE RETALIATION AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT
CMHA board member steps down
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today agreed with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to settle a HUD-initiated complaint brought against CMHA for discrimination and retaliation. Also today, Arnold Barnett, formerly the Chairman of the CMHA Board of Commissioners, announced his resignation.
In its October 2009 complaint, HUD alleged that CMHA and Commissioner Barnett retaliated against a local attorney who filed a Fair Housing Act complaint on behalf of three African-American home seekers. CMHA and Mr. Barnett denied the allegations.
"We thank the Housing Authority for resolving our complaint involving retaliation suffered by a member of the public who advocated on behalf of three African American residents," stated John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing Equal Opportunity. "This settlement enables us to move forward together to address discrimination complaints on their merits."
The agreement provides that Mr. Barnett will not seek reappointment to the CMHA Board. He is also not eligible to participate in most federal programs for a period of three years. In addition, Barnett has pledged to serve as a witness and cooperate with both HUD's ongoing investigation of CMHA under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and HUD's investigation of the housing discrimination complaints.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. It also makes it unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of his/her rights under the Act. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.