|HUD No. 21-060
HUD Public Affairs
April 12, 2021
HUD INITIATES ORDER TO HALT FUNDING TO BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, OPERATOR OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS DUE TO VIOLATIONS OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it will begin procedures to suspend federal affordable housing funds to Carbrook Associates, LP (Carbrook), after a HUD investigation revealed that it violated federal anti-discrimination laws in the operation of 81 units of multifamily housing in Brooklyn, New York. Read HUD's letter.
HUD's investigation found that Carbrook failed to address widespread architectural barriers that limit access by individuals with disabilities. In 2019, HUD notified Carbrook of its findings of violations of federal law involving discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Carbrook has refused to come into voluntary compliance to resolve the findings of discrimination.
HUD also commenced a concurrent investigation based on concerns that Carbrook may be excluding tenants of racial and other minority groups in violation of federal anti-discrimination law, leaving the properties occupied almost exclusively by white tenants. As stated in HUD's letter, Carbrook violated provisions of the law requiring cooperation with HUD's investigation into these concerns of systemic racial and national origin discrimination.
Since 1981, Carbrook has received federal housing funds to provide affordable housing to income-qualifying families in Brooklyn, New York. In the ten-year period prior to HUD's findings, Carbrook received over $11.5 million in Project-Based Rental Assistance from HUD to operate two affordable multifamily housing developments.
"HUD is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities, racial minorities and other underserved communities have an equal opportunity, as guaranteed by federal law, to enjoy accessible, affordable housing." said Jeanine Worden, HUD's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD will not tolerate housing providers taking federal housing funds while shirking their civil rights obligations and refusing to cooperate with federal civil rights investigations."
In January, President Biden issued a Memorandum to the Secretary (www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/26/memorandum-on-redressing-our-nations-and-the-federal-governments-history-of-discriminatory-housing-practices-and-policies/), charging HUD to take actions to overcome and redress this Nation's history of housing discrimination by applying and enforcing Federal civil rights and fair housing laws. This action is one step toward undoing historic patterns of segregation and other types of discrimination that have long denied equitable access to housing opportunity.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance and requires that recipients of federal financial assistance bring their programs and activities into compliance with federal accessibility requirements. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
HUD's letter notifies Carbrook that HUD is proceeding to suspend, terminate, and refuse to grant federal financial assistance due to Carbrook's noncompliance with Section 504 and Title VI. Carbrook may request that HUD initiate an administrative hearing regarding this matter within twenty (20) calendar days of the date of the letter. During the pendency of such proceeding, HUD will defer all federal financial assistance it currently provides to Carbrook. Carbrook may avoid these actions if it signs a voluntary compliance agreement under Section 504 and fully cooperates with HUD's Title VI investigation.
HUD is notifying tenants of the Carbrook properties that federal civil rights laws prohibit intimidation and retaliation against tenants, including threatening eviction or withholding maintenance services, because of HUD's action. The notification states that the terms and services of tenancy, including the amount of rental payment, should not immediately change due to this action.
People 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) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service).
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
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