News Roundup

  • Proposed HUD Rule Presents a Roadblock to Housing Discrimination Lawsuits
    On Monday, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced a new rule that would replace a rule on disparate impact and raise the burden of proof for the plaintiff in housing discrimination cases. Fair housing advocates say it would make winning these lawsuits “impossible.” The rule also creates new defenses for landlords and lenders who use an algorithm to determine creditworthiness or risk.
  • Los Angeles Bans Sleeping in Vehicles
    The Los Angeles City Council reinstated an ordinance that bans sleeping in vehicles in residential areas overnight; outlaws living in a vehicle within a block of a park, school, or day care; and imposes tickets and increasing fees for each violation. The original ordinance was struck down in 2014 amid a growing homelessness crisis. Mayor Eric Garcetti expects to add additional safe parking spaces, and says, “We want to make it easier [for people living in vehicles,] but we also have to have that balance...making sure that it’s not going to be chaos out there.”
  • Pulaski County Will Increase Housing Access for People with HIV and AIDS
    Pulaksi County, Arkansas, will expand short-term rent assistance, mortgage and utility assistance, and permanent housing placement services and tenant-based rental assistance for people with HIV and AIDS, using a $383,000 grant awarded by the City of Little Rock and funded through a HUD program. Pulaski County community services director Fredrick Love says it’s part of broader efforts to create a continuum of care for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing housing. “If you’re struggling...with paying your mortgage and paying for your medicine, this grant can assist you. The basic premise of this grant is to ensure that people are being brought into care,” Love said.
  • Washington State Landlords Are Using Pay-or-Vacate Orders More Often
    In July, legislation that extends the amount of time tenants facing eviction receive for failing to pay rent went into effect in Washington State. Now, some landlords and property management companies appear to be using the threat of eviction more often by issuing 14-day pay-or-vacate orders to tenants who don’t pay rent on the first of the month—some say in retaliation of the new law. “It’s pretty shocking that they’re using this tactic, and it’s really going to have some bad effects on people,” said Scott Crain, an attorney with the Northwest Justice Project.
  • Kansas City Collaborative Effort Will House Families Escaping Domestic Violence
    The Kansas City nonprofit Linwood Property Inc. and Prairie Fire Development Group together will build the Linwood Gardens, a 32-unit supportive housing project to serve families that experienced domestic violence. ReStart Inc. will provide employment and education services. “Normally shelters separate the families, either you have your daughters with you and your sons go somewhere else. So I think it’s really good that they’re bringing families together and keeping that unit together,” said Roach Ellington, the founder of an advocacy group for victims of abuse. Ellington says this population faces a shortage of housing options.