Federal Housing Discrimination Complaint Filed Against Nassau County

The county said it is in compliance with all federal guidelines.

A Syosset-based civil rights group filed a federal housing complaint Monday against Nassau County, asserting that the county discriminates against African-Americans.

ERASE Racism submitted a civil rights complaint to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, claiming that the county “discriminates against African-Americans and perpetuates racial segregation in the administration of its housing and community development programs,” according to a news release.

In the complaint, the group singles out violations it alleges the county made, and what it calls the county’s “failure to enforce federal civil rights requirements” – including overcoming historic patterns of segregation – on members of the Nassau Urban County Consortium.  

Millions of dollars of housing funds are allocated by the county’s Office of Community Development to municipalities that are part of the consortium, ERASE Racism said. And In the fiscal year 2014, the county received $15.7 million in HUD block grant funds. To accept the funds, the county and consortium members must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal Fair Housing Act and the separate obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.

Pointing to the 2010 Census, ERASE Racism says that African Americans comprise 11.1 percent of Nassau's overall population, yet a majority of the consortium's municipalities still have "disproportionately small or disproportionately large African-American populations."

The complaint asserts that the county has not enforced civil rights obligations, which has led to "discriminatory" zoning practices and policies, including a lack of affordable multi-family housing. Those kind of exclusions exclusions "serve to limit the number of African Americans in their communities," ERASE Racism stated.

“It has been 50 years since the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made discrimination based on race or color illegal, yet, as this complaint to HUD shows, African Americans are still being denied housing choice and, consequently, equal access to the same opportunities that white residents of Nassau County enjoy,” said ERASE Racism President Elaine Gross.

The County, however, says it has followed all federal requirements.

“Nassau County is in compliance with all federal guidelines,” said, Nassau County Director of Housing and Community Development John Sarcone.

“The county passes through federal dollars to fund projects that are requested by the towns and villages,” Sarcone added. 
Sal Anthony April 30, 2014 at 01:43 AM
Randi Portnoy April 30, 2014 at 07:31 AM
What about discrimination against white middle and lower class people who want affordable housing so that they too can live in Syosset? Everyone seems to forget about us???
Chris April 30, 2014 at 08:21 AM
TJ.....the government is involved in every move we make as citizens. Now they tell us where we should live and how we should live. They have the power to bring financial ruin us if we do not comply, at the very least. We pay a huge amount of our income in the form of taxes, and yet we see our infrastructure crumbling here locally as well as nationally. The use of the race card or the civil rights issues are used as an excuse for the fed to gain more power over us. The majority of us were disgusted by sterling a comments about his black players on the NBA. He has been fined and banned by the NBA. Any sponsor who does business with him will be doing their company damage. The system has worked. This racist knows how the majority of us feel. We will soon be regulated to death.
Mike Elks April 30, 2014 at 12:47 PM
What Sterling said was a private discussion or rant he was having in his home with his black girl friend. It was private. When did private conversations become something that could be used against anyone. Here are some public conversations that haven't caused a ripple. How about that black racist NBA star Charles Barkley who said "that's why I hate white people".Any blowback? Nada. How about the ugly bug-eyed puke Spike Lee who said he wished he had a gun so he could kill whites. Anything happen to his going nowhere career? Nothing. How about Jamie Foxx who makes most of his money from stupid white audiences, and his racist rant about that jerk off movie Django. But most importantly, how about the Halloween mask, Al Sharpton. He destroys a man's career over the liar Tawana Brawley and goes on to demand incarceration for the Duke Lacrosse players who had nothing to do with the black whore who falsely accused them. It turns out he's also been an FBI snitch. The FBI doesn't turn anybody unless they've got a lot of dirt on them and Sharpton was as dirty as they come. Anything happen to him. Yep. He was given a talk show on MSNBC and Obama invites him to the WH. Grow up America. This is the result of a radical change in our culture and it's going to get worse as our rights are stripped from us.


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