Washington, DC

D.C. condo owners to pay $550,000 for failing to stop harassment

June 10, 1998
A south Washington condominium association will pay $550,000 to a black resident who sued the association for failing to put an end to racial slurs directed toward her by a neighbor. The association will also buy back her condo for $52,000. Before the case was settled, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled that condo associations are covered by the Fair Housing Act, signalling to the condo association that they would have an uphill battle to avoid liability.

Senate subcommittee cuts spending for housing, other programs

June 09, 1998
A Senate subcommittee voted Tuesday to trim President Clinton's planned spending for housing and toxic waste cleanups, signaling election-year spending clashes ahead.
     In February, the administration proposed cutting housing for the elderly by $524 million to pay for a new program that would give rental housing vouchers to many welfare recipients and homeless, elderly and disabled people. The committee ignored the idea. "You shouldn't have to take your walker and hit the streets with your voucher," said Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland.

HUD to hold SuperNOFA satellite broadcast

June 04, 1998
The Live Broadcast on the National SuperNOFA will be held this Friday, June 5, from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT. There are several ways to receive the HUD satellite broadcasts:
      1. You can visit a HUD Field Office in your area.
      2. You can call in for an audio-only version at 1-888-618-8003.
      3. You can view live simulcasts or archived broadcasts in streaming video over the web. Streaming web video requiers a special video player.

Employee sues Freddie Mac for race discrimination

June 04, 1998
Freddie Mac faces a $15 million race-discrimination lawsuit from a former executive who claims it created a ``hostile work environment'' that subjected black employees to threats and racial slurs. Tony Morgan, Freddie Mac's former director of executive corporate relations, sued Wednesday in U.S. District Court, alleging a ``pattern and practice of intentional discrimination.''

L.A. may be added to list of investigated housing authorities

May 21, 1998
According to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands), chairman of a House subcommittee with HUD oversight, Los Angeles faces the possibility of being targeted for a federal public housing investigation, despite earlier reports that Housing and Urban Development Department investigators had already picked Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco.
      His remarks are likely to continue the controversy over HUD's examination of those cities, all with black Democratic mayors, among mayors groups and Democratic leaders who complained that the selection was politically and racially motivated. If Los Angeles--whose mayor is a white Republican--is selected, it would defuse some of the complaints. HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo has criticized the targeting of the original three cities by HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney, saying it appeared to be "illegal or unethical."

Examine criminal justice bias, experts tell race panel

May 20, 1998
A panel of criminal justice experts urged the president's race advisory board yesterday to examine the racial disparities that permeate the nation's criminal justice system, from black motorists being stopped and searched by police more frequently than whites to the disproportionate number of African American males going to prison.
      But in their discussion of the issue, the experts left a crucial question unaddressed: Are the disparities the result of overt racial discrimination, or are they simply the unfortunate result of otherwise fair practices by police, prosecutors and judges? "I, for one, did not get a complete answer to that question," said John Hope Franklin, chairman of the race advisory board.

Judge urges government to settle black farmers' suit

May 14, 1998
The Clinton administration should settle a $2.5 billion lawsuit filed by black farmers over Agriculture Department discrimination and avoid a costly, time-consuming trial, a federal judge says. ``I've always believed this case would be better solved through some sort of resolution, some sort of settlement,'' U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Wednesday. ``Ultimately, we have to try this case or settle,'' he said. ``Maybe it can get resolved and people will feel that justice is being done.'' The judge heard arguments Wednesday on whether the case -- now expanded to 400 plaintiff black farmers from across the South -- should represent an entire class of farmers estimated at 2,500 who suffered discrimination through denial of farm loans, crop subsidies or other benefits from 1983 to 1997.

Supreme Court to decide whether HIV is disability under the ADA

March 30, 1998
Complaints about doctors who shunned patients infected with the AIDS virus had been rumbling across the country for years.
     But it took Sidney Abbott's visit to the small Bangor, Maine, office of dentist Randon Bragdon in September 1994 to trigger a case that would reach the Supreme Court. Now, the justices will decide for the first time whether people who have HIV are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of "disability" in dentist offices, hospitals and other places that serve the public. The Court is to hear arguments in the case on Monday.

HUD fires back at downsizing critics with $200,000 consultant's report

March 27, 1998
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, under attack for
slashing agency jobs to meet an arbitrary target of 7,500 employees, fired back yesterday with a new consultant's report calling the number "sufficient" if certain management reforms are successfully implemented first.  HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney criticized the department last year for rushing to reorganize and cut its size without adequate analysis. Within a few months of the reengineering announcement, some 800 employees had accepted buyouts, she said, and the downsizing target had been picked without analyzing HUD's mission or workload. 

More people with depression seeking relief from discrimination

March 27, 1998
A growing number of people suffering from depression are arguing in court, schools and the workplace that they should not be penalized for problems they trace to their mental illness. So far, most such lawsuits have been unsuccessful. But advocates for people with disabilities say the issue is still new to the courts, and they expect that the steady increase in claims will result in a new body of law relating to mental disorders. 

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