HUD Says LA Falling Behind in Disability Housing, Holds Back $80 Million


Los Angeles Tops The Country In Homeless Population

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Department of Housing and Urban Development is denying Los Angeles $80 million in federal funding on the grounds the city is violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people with disabilities, according to the political website Politico.

Citing information reportedly obtained by Politico, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday night that the city's plan for the disbursement of Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership funds has been turned down.

“As you have been notified time and again, the city is unlawfully discriminating against individuals with disabilities in its affordable housing program under federal accessibility laws, including the Fair Housing Act, and has refused to take the steps necessary to remedy this discrimination,” Carson wrote to Garcetti in explaining the HUD action, Politico writer Katy O'Donnell reported.

In an email to the website, Garcetti said he was “disappointed in HUD's decision” and that he was “looking forward to meeting with Secretary Carson next week, so that I can speak directly to HUD's concerns and bring this matter to a resolution that will not displace already vulnerable Angelenos.”

In the email, Garcetti told O'Donnell that Los Angeles officials were “negotiating in good faith to resolve HUD concerns -- most recently signing off on an offer to create 4,000 accessible housing units over the next 10 years and implementing a rigorous monitoring and compliance regime.”

Politico reported that in April, HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity notified Garcetti that a review of Los Angeles' affordable housing program showed the city was not compliant with the Fair Housing Act's accessibility requirements the agency says it raised with the city as early as 2012, calling it a “widespread failure.”

According to Politico, an April 1 letter to Garcetti by FHEO Enforcement Director Lynn Grosso noted that Los Angeles recently had “made a variety of representations that it had begun to achieve compliance.”

However, Grosso wrote that a HUD review based on city officials' claims of compliance progress revealed that Los Angeles still lagged in recent construction of new housing or using funds to alter current housing, Politico reported.

Carson's letter gives Los Angeles 60 days to comment and revise or resubmit its plan, the website said.

“The city may also obtain approval of its Annual Action Plan once the city has entered a Voluntary Compliance Agreement that remedies its violations of federal accessibility requirements to HUD's satisfaction,” Carson said.

A City News Service email to Garcetti's office seeking further comment was not immediately answered.

Photo: Getty Images


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