U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, aka “Dr. Ben Carson,” aka “Breakfront,” aka “Mumbles,” aka “Solo,” is under fire again: A housing-rights group plans to file a federal lawsuit against him and his department for suspending an Obama-era rule that required those developments receiving federal funds to submit plans in order to “overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair-housing choice and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.”
According to the New York Times, national housing groups have banded together to sue Carson’s HUD for violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act by failing to ensure that the $28 billion allocated for Hurricane Harvey relief is distributed without discrimination.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the “sale, rental and financing of dwellings,” but housing advocates say that the enforcement of these laws has been weak, USA Today reports.
“HUD has continued to grant federal dollars to municipalities even when they know the municipalities are engaging in discrimination,” Lisa Rice, president and chief executive of the National Fair Housing Alliance, told the Washington Post. “They are rewarding cities for bad behavior.”
A copy of the draft obtained by the Post charges that “Carson unlawfully suspended the 2015 rule by not providing advance public notice or opportunity for comment.”
In a 2015 op-ed for the Washington Times, Carson called the rule an example of “failed socialist experiments of the 1980s.”
“These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”