Tag Archives: HUD

Feds Say Denying Housing Over Criminal Record May Be Discrimination

I’m so glad I sold my rental property.
O laughs
Via NPR: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is making it easier for people with criminal records to find housing.
In new guidance, released Monday, HUD tells landlords and home sellers that turning down tenants or buyers based on their criminal records may violate the Fair Housing Act.
Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics.
People with criminal records aren’t a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, and the guidance from HUD’s general counsel says that in some cases, turning down an individual tenant because of his or her record can be legally justified. But blanket policies of refusing to rent to anybody with a criminal record are de facto discrimination, the department says — because of the systemic disparities of the American criminal justice system.
One in four Americans has a criminal record, as NPR’s Carrie Johnson has reported. Those records can include arrests that never led to convictions, as well as convictions for a wide range of crimes — from petty to serious — that may have happened decades ago.
A record can make it hard to find a job — or a home. Many private landlords and public housing projects have policies against renting to people with criminal records.
Take Melvin Lofton, who spoke with NPR’s Cheryl Corley. Lofton was convicted of burglary and theft when he was in his 20s; now he’s 51. He lives with his mom, and says it would be hard to find housing without that family connection. He remembers one time when he tried to rent a home in a trailer park.
“I was at work and the guy called me and told me to come pick up my keys. So I was happy. I got a place to stay,” Lofton says. “So then … 45 to 50 minutes later he calls and says, ‘Is there something you’re not telling me?’ and I say, ‘No, what is there?’ And he says, ‘You didn’t tell me you had a background.’ ” Lofton had been out of prison for 20 years at the time, Cheryl reports.
HUD’s new guidance warns that landlords could be breaking the law when they refuse to rent to people with criminal records — even if they have no intention to discriminate — because such a policy would likely have a disproportionate impact on African-American and Hispanic applicants.

Housing Secretary Julian Castro

Housing Secretary Julian Castro

Housing Secretary Julian Castro puts it another way, NPR’s Corley reports: “When landlords refuse to rent to anyone who has an arrest record, they effectively bar the door to millions of folks of color for no good reason.”
HUD notes that whether an individual landlord’s policy has a discriminatory impact will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. But on a national level, HUD provided a list of statistics — direct from the Justice Department — demonstrating disproportionately high rates of arrest and incarceration based on race. They noted African-American men are imprisoned at a rate nearly six times that of white men, and Hispanic men at more than twice the rate of white men.
That doesn’t mean landlords are completely barred from considering criminal records — but they’d have to prove that their policy legitimately serves to protect safety or property. Saying “criminals are poor tenants” doesn’t cut it, HUD says: “Bald assertions based on generalization or stereotype” aren’t sufficient.
Barring people based just on arrest records is no good, HUD says, because arrests alone aren’t proof of guilt. And even if you only consider convictions, refusing to rent to all ex-cons — “no matter when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed, or what the convicted person has done since then,” HUD writes — also isn’t defensible, since not all ex-cons will pose a risk to safety or property.
Instead, HUD writes, landlords should have a policy that takes into consideration what the crime was and when it happened, as well as other factors, to reduce the discriminatory impact. (The only exception is if a conviction was for manufacturing or distributing drugs.)
HUD also warns landlords that if they do intend to discriminate, and use criminal records as a cover for their actions, they can be found in violation. For instance, landlords who reject black or Hispanic applicants ostensibly because of criminal records — but accept a white tenant with a similar criminal record — could be found guilty of violating the Fair Housing Act.
Read the whole story here.

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O'Keefe exposes voter fraud in Vermont

James O’Keefe is that valiant young man who exposed the criminality and corruption of several ACORN offices, which led to Congress withdrawing taxpayer funding of ACORN in 2009, which led to the closing down of ACORN in 2010.

Like a hydra that grows back a head when one is cut off, ACORN has revived itself under different names: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, New York Communities for Change,and Affordable Housing Centers of America. Last year, Judicial Watch discovered that the Obama administration is flouting the will of Congress by giving federal taxpayer money to precisely one of ACORN’s new guises. HUD gave a $79,819 grant to the Affordable Housing Centers of America.
Nevertheless, Congress’ funding withdrawal and subsequent dismantling of ACORN did put a damper on the criminal syndicate’s activities.
In his daring sting, O’Keefe had the support of the late Andrew Breitbart, whose sudden death on March 1 still awaits the L.A. coroner’s full report.
Andrew Breitbart is dead, but James O’Keefe and other conservative activists are carrying on the battle.
Christian Hartsock reports for Breitbart.com that O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has released a new video exposing just how easy it is to commit voter fraud in Vermont.
The video, a sequel to O’Keefe’s “Primary of the Living Dead” in New Hampshire, shows a Veritas agent entering various voting places around the state of Vermont, giving a different name each time. Each time, he is given a ballot without showing an ID, to his disbelief.

O’Keefe’s new video follows in the wake of a highly-politicized media attack on him after his exposure of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Those videos resulted in calls from the left for O’Keefe’s arrest. However, the videos soon resulted in the New Hampshire State Senate passing a new bill requiring voter ID.
O’Keefe’s new video from Vermont could not be more timely, coming the day after Obama’s Department of Injustice’s civil rights division blocked a Texas photo ID requirement for voters–to the applause of the American Civil Liberties Union, which claimed that the law was “discriminatory” against “Latinos, African-Americans, elderly citizens, and others.”
As the Project Veritas video shows, the current system in Vermont discriminates against actual legal voters, who must face the prospect of disenfranchisement by those who would vote in their stead illegally, or have their votes cancelled out by those voting illegally in place of deceased voters who have yet to be removed from the rolls. If it is not discriminatory for Vermont citizens to be required to show ID to get married or buy alcohol, it is certainly not discriminatory to make them show ID to vote.
“It is a national disgrace that ballots can be given out in the names of dead people,” O’Keefe told Breitbart.com. “Threats of government intimidation will not stop us from protecting the integrity of the ballot box. If any state has a system which encourages ballots to be given out to the wrong person, dead or alive, we will come to your state, we will film your poll workers, and Project Veritas will put the videos on YouTube. States like Vermont and New Hampshire have to take dead people off voter registration forms and clean up their act, once and for all.”
Here’s O’Keefe’s Vermont voter fraud video (h/t LTG):

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Ron Paul's Latest Ad

I’m LTG and I approve this message!  ROFL

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Obama Illegally Funds ACORN With Your Money

ACORN: Community organizer Obama's Red Shirts

Obama is defying federal law by funding that criminal syndicate called ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

In 2009, spurred by popular outrage at the corrupt ACORN, Congress passed four separate appropriations bills that contained language blocking federal funds from flowing to ACORN during federal fiscal year 2010. All four of the laws prevent ACORN and its affiliated groups from receiving federal taxpayer dollars. The funding prohibition in Public Law 111-117 (PDF) applies specifically to HUD (Dept of Housing and Urban Development).

But Judicial Watch discovered that the Obama administration is flouting the will of Congress by giving federal taxpayer money to ACORN.

Obama’s HUD gave a $79,819 grant to the largest branch of the ACORN tree, ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC), under the AHC’s new name, Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). Whatever the name, it’s the same old organization — one of the many tentacles of ACORN.

ACORN is a hydra: Chop off one head, and another one grows in its stead.

Worse yet, the Obama administration’s grant to AHCOA funds a political agitation and indoctrination program. Here’s HUD’s euphemistic description of the program:

“Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) – HUD awarded $6.8 million to organizations that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Groups will also conduct fair lending workshops, community meetings, and individual counseling activities focused on homeowners at risk for discrimination.”

Read the rest of this article by Michael Vadum on  spectator.org

H/t beloved fellow Joseph.

By the way, in April 2011, ACORN pled guilty to voter registration fraud in Nevada.


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New Housing Construction Down 10.6%

The U.S. housing market continues to tank.
The Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the dismal news that privately-owned housing starts last month, April, were 10.6% below March, and 23.9% below the same time last year, April 2010.

Homes under water, the new American Gothic.

The decline in new housing construction is due to so many homes being underwater and in foreclosure.
Supply and demand.
According to data from the real estate information company Zillow, as many as 1 of every 4 homes in America have negative equity, that is, the mortgage owed on the house is more than what the house is worth.
All of which has a depressing effect on home prices: Average home prices in the U.S. are down 8% from a year ago and are falling at about 1% every month.

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