|HUD No. 14-067
June 10, 2014
HUD AND CONNECTICUT CITY AND HOUSING AUTHORITY REACH AGREEMENT SETTLING CLAIMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS, HISPANICS, AND FAMILIES
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has reached agreements with the city of Ansonia, CT, and the Ansonia Housing Authority (AHA) in New Haven County, settling allegations that the city and the housing authority discriminated against African Americans, Hispanics, and families with children when they demolished and later refused to rebuild units at Riverside Apartments it had previously agreed to. Riverside Apartments is a former HUD subsidized, low-income public housing complex.
"These agreements will help ensure that former public housing residents in Ansonia and the surrounding area, including minority households and families with children, have access to much needed affordable housing," said Dave Ziaya, HUD's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will continue to work with housing authorities and local governments to create greater housing opportunities for low-income individuals and families."
In June 2012, AHA received an approval letter from HUD to demolish the aging complex. HUD approved the demolition on condition that the housing authority would rebuild 48 units and that residents would have the right to return following redevelopment. However, AHA has since refused to rebuild the units.
The agreements settle two complaints that were filed with HUD by a former resident of Riverside who was relocated when the housing authority demolished five buildings on the property. The former resident alleged that most of the displaced residents were African-Americans, Hispanics, and families with children. The specific complaint against the housing authority alleged that it discriminated when it demolished the buildings and then reneged on its commitment to rebuild 48 units on the same site. The complaint against the city alleged that the former mayor publicly opposed the redevelopment of the property and interfered with plans to rebuild units on the site. This was alleged to violate The Fair Housing Act, which makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, or familial status, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Under the terms of agreement one and agreement two, the housing authority will complete construction of the first replacement unit within three years. The city will make an official statement of support for the redevelopment of the property and appoint a building committee to oversee the redevelopment effort. City and housing authority staff and board members will also receive fair housing training.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD's free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
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 http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.