|HUD No. 22-249
HUD Public Affairs
December 3, 2022
HUD ANNOUNCES RACIAL EQUITY AGREEMENT WITH AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING PROVIDER
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered a Voluntary Compliance Agreement for Aboussie Pavilion Apartments, resolving a compliance review concerning non-discrimination in marketing and tenanting procedures. Aboussie Pavilion Apartments consists of two buildings known as Bevo and Bavarian for a total of 273 units in St. Louis, Missouri. The Property provides affordable subsidized units through the Section 8 program for families with a member who is 62 or older or has a disability. Read the Agreement.
This Agreement arises from a compliance review that was conducted by HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. FHEO opened the review based on information indicating disproportionately low participation rates of Black residents relative to the housing market. The review sought to ensure eligible persons were not discriminated against in opportunities to learn about, apply to, and reside in HUD subsidized housing on the basis of race, color, or national origin. In particular, the review revealed disparities in the Property’s tenant screening practices related to credit history and criminal records which disproportionately impacted Black applicants.
HUD enforces the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. HUD also enforces other federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
“Tenant selection policies can create unnecessary barriers that result in illegal discrimination and denials of desperately needed housing. HUD funded housing providers must tailor tenant selection policies to avoid discriminating against applicants because of their race, color, and national origin,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We are committed to advancing equity and embedding fairness in our decision-making processes. We take seriously our mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all, including those who have been historically wronged”.
The Agreement mandates a fund in the amount of $156,000 to compensate individuals who were denied due to credit history or criminal records during the review period. In addition, the Agreement requires creation of a new waitlist after robust marketing to those least likely to apply, committing a minimum of $10,000 towards advertising, outreach, and website development; revising all policies that include an evaluation of credit or rental history consistent with civil rights laws and HUD’s guidance; and waiving move-in fees for formerly denied applicants who reapply and are admitted. This Agreement does not constitute admissions by the housing providers or evidence of a final determination by HUD of violations of Title VI or any other laws.
Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination in housing may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service).