Lawsuit alleging race discrimination in Texas housing tax credit program clears hurdle

The Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas has denied a motion by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) to throw out a lawsuit alleging the Department is guilty of racial discrimination in the operation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.  The case will now move forward to a trial on the merits of the allegations.

I reported on the lawsuit back in July.

The lawsuit alleges:
* TDHCA uses race and ethnicity as one factor in its decision whether to award Low Income Housing Tax credits and this factor is a cause of the segregation and other discrimination.
* The use of race as a factor subjects minority tenants to slum and blighted conditions.

The lawsuit, filed by the Dallas-based Inclusive Communities Project can we found here.  The response filed by the State of Texas on behalf of TDHCA can be found here.

On December 11, Federal Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater rejected all of the claims made by TDHCA and ordered the lawsuit to go forward.  The judge’s order can be found here.

As I noted in a previous posting, this a major challenge to the way the State of Texas allocates Low Income Housing Tax Credits.  It is part of the evolving trend that has moved the focus of the national struggle for fair housing to North Texas due to the work of the Inclusive Communities Project and civil rights attorney Mike Daniel.

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