|HUD No. 21-003
HUD Public Affairs
January 14, 2021
HUD REACHES AGREEMENT WITH OKLAHOMA HOUSING PROVIDERS FOR ALLEGED RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced today that the Department has reached a Conciliation Agreement with Vintage Housing, Inc., and Wilhoit Properties, Inc, the owner and manager of Cardinal Heights and Carriage Crossing senior apartments in Collinsville and Coweta, Oklahoma, resolving allegations that they removed bibles and christian reading material from the properties’ common areas. Under the settlement, the housing providers agreed, among other things, to develop new policies regarding the display of religious materials for use in all the residences they manage or own and provide fair housing training for employees, with a portion dedicated to religious discrimination. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and in housing-related services based on religion and other protected characteristics. The complaint, filed on behalf of Secretary Carson in October 2020, followed a letter to HUD from a resident at the Carriage Crossing apartment complex who was upset that the property’s management demanded the removal of religious material from common spaces.
“The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring that housing providers do not discriminate on the basis of religion under the Fair Housing Act,” said Secretary Carson. “This settlement lets housing providers know that barring religious materials, while allowing secular materials, infringes upon the rights of the people, and HUD will not stand for discrimination against any group for practicing their religious traditions.”
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.