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Fair housing groups file suit against HUD

[JURIST] The National Fair Housing Alliance and other fair housing groups filed suit [complaint, PDF] Tuesday against the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) [official website] and HUD Secretary Ben Carson in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

In January HUD suspended the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act (AFFH) without any notice-and-comment procedure. The AFFH required local governments that received federal housing funds to "prepare and submit for HUD review an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), a document that includes both the jurisdiction's diagnosis of fair housing impediments and a plan to overcome them." The National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, and Texas Appleseed are challenging this suspension, saying that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The fair housing groups bringing this suit have three causes of action outlined in their complaint. First, they argue that HUD violated the APA by failing to undertake notice-and-comment rule-making as required. Second, they argue that the suspension of the AFFH is arbitrary and capricious and therefore not allowed by the APA. Third, they argue that HUD's action in this case is not in accordance with the law, and that it violates the Fair Housing Act itself.

If the fair housing groups win this case, then the court may issue injunctions that would require HUD to rescind the suspension.

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