We noted yesterday the United States Department of Justice brought suit alleging the City of New Berlin, Wisconsin had violated the Fair Housing Act by denying a developer permission to build a mixed senior, family development financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).
I just read the Justice Department’s compliant in the case. The same conditions are widespread in Texas.
The facts in the New Berlin case read like a minor variant of a story many of us have watched unfold in Texas. It goes like this: developer applies for minor waivers and permits, city initially grants permission to proceed, newspaper reports low-income housing is proposed to be built, angry citizens organize, threats and intimidation ensue against elected officials, elected officials get scared and backtrack, permits withdrawn.
Katy, McKinney, Dallas, Houston, — dozens of Texas cities have seen similar scenarios repeatedly play out.
What’s different in the New Berlin case is the US Department of Justice has stepped in to force the community officials there to abide by the Fair Housing Act and allow the LIHTC development to proceed.
The federal government acted because local elected leaders could not, or would not, stand up to local citizens behaving like an irrational, hate-filled mob. That mob forced their elected leaders to violate the Civil Rights of African-Americans.
The facts in the New Berlin case made this a no brainer for the Justice Department. There was plenty of evidence that the local officials reacted because of the racial prejudices of their citizens, organized in opposition to the project. The mayor wrote to a friend in an email cited in the complaint…
Our city is filled with prejudiced and bigoted people who with very little facts are making this project into something evil and degrading…
But even without these admissions, the statements of the citizens opposed to the housing are sufficiently damning to convince any fair-minded person that this case is about white people fighting a housing development that will bring African-American families into their community.
1955 Music Appreciation Course AP-25 The Music of Mozart The Letters of Mendelssohn Classicism in Music 16 Pages of Music treasures of the world Joseph Machlis professor of music Queens College city of New York
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