Over several generations, many local public housing authorities have established and perpetuated racially segregated and discriminatory systems for delivering public housing and other housing assistance. Over the past decade, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been working actively to undo this legacy by settling legal suits that have alleged a variety of such civil rights violations by these housing authorities. In over a dozen court cases nationwide, HUD has voluntarily entered into consent decrees instead of contesting them in a trial. In these decrees the defendants (usually HUD, the local housing authority, and the local government) have agreed to implement specific remedial elements. These elements have been negotiated by the parties and, ultimately, designated by the Court to provide relief to plaintiff class members. Although remedies differ by site, common forms of relief have included: unified housing authority waiting lists (in a few cases, with race-conscious tenant assignment plans); demolition of some public housing developments; construction of scattered-site public housing; the provision of additional Section 8 vouchers and certificates for replacement housing; mobility counseling; and conventional public housing modernization. HUD commissioned research on the early implementation of eight of these consent decrees, originally entered into between 1987 and 1996.
Institution: Urban Institute, Housing and Urban Development (HUD)