Other Cases

Other Housing Cases

A. Other public housing desegregation cases.

1. Clients Council v. Pierce, 532 F.Supp. 563 (W.D. Ark. 1981) rev'd and remanded, 711 F.2d 1406 (8th Cir. 1983) (Texarkana, Arkansas public housing desegregation). The Eighth Circuit opinion finding HUD liable for purposeful racial segregation in its oversight and funding of the local public housing authority provided an important precedent for the public housing desegregation cases that followed. This was a Julian and Daniel case.

2. NAACP v. Commerce Housing Authority, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8961 (N.D. Tex 1998), public housing desegregation in Commerce Texas. HUD as well as the local agency was found liable for the racial segregation in the public housing program.

3. Ethridge, et al. v. Housing Authority of the City of Galveston, CA No G-96-404 (S.D. Tex) public housing desegregation in Galveston, Texas.

4. Ripley Arnold Residents Association v. Fort Worth Housing Authority, HUD administrative complaint filed (2000 - 2001). The firm provided representation to Ramoni Utti and the Resident Association in their efforts to secure replacement and relocation housing needed because of the sale of the Ripley Arnold public housing complex in downtown Fort Worth. The resulting agreement required first the temporary and then the permanent one for one replacement of the Ripley Arnold units. The temporary and permanent replacement units are required to be in predominantly white areas. There has been a lot of NIMBY opposition to the chosen locations. The Housing Authority has not yet completed the permanent replacement of all the units. HUD did nothing on the complaint.

B. Cases involving the exclusion of low income affordable housing through zoning or other government action.

1. Dews v. Town of Sunnyvale, 109 F. Supp. 2d 526 (N.D. Tex. 2000). Exclusionary zoning case filed in 1988. The liability opinion was issued in 2000 and is based on extensive findings of fact concerning the exhaustive efforts by the Town to exclude any form of affordable housing, rental housing, or low-income housing. Under the agreement reached in 2005, the Town has until 2008 to identify and make available sites for 70 units of low or low-moderate income housing and to assist in the provision of the infrastructure for those units.

2. AHM Development, Inc. v. City of Lewisville, No. 4:00-CV-431 (E.D. Tex.). The City objected to the State Housing Agency’’s proposed award of low income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to a multi-family rental complex to be located in a predominantly white neighborhood. Because the City’’s objection would be given the effect of a de facto veto by the State Housing Agency, the developer withdrew the application and sued the City for damages under the civil rights laws. The district court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment.

3. Engler v. City of Keller, No. 4:02-CV-746-Y (N.D. Tex.). Absentee property owners sued the predominantly white City of Keller, a suburb of Fort Worth. Keller had refused the owners’ request to change the zoning of their land to multifamily and higher density single family housing. The case was promptly settled in 2003 by an agreement to rezone the land for higher density single family housing and multifamily housing. 

4. Stonebrook Villas Housing, L.P. v. The City of McKinney, et al., No. 4:03-CV-54 (E.D. Tex.). The City and the School District opposed the developer’s application to the State for the issuance of tax-exempt bonds and low income housing tax credits. The proposed project was on a site in a predominantly white area of McKinney. The developer had a long track record of encouraging Section 8 vouchers to use its projects. The City’s first two motions to dismiss were unsuccessful. The district court granted the school district motion to dismiss on all grounds except for a claim under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

5. Arbor Bend Villas Hous., L.P. v. Tarrant County Hous. Fin. Corp., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10232, (N.D. Tex.2002). The Tarrant County Housing Finance Corporation denied an application for tax-exempt bonds for a tax-credit/bond project in a predominantly white area of Fort Worth. The denial was based on neighborhood, school district, and city council opposition and explicitly cited the fact that the number of school age children was a factor in the decision. The denial was made pursuant to the housing finance corporation’s policy of deferring to any and all neighborhood or local government based objections to the issuance of the bonds. Nevertheless, the district court granted summary judgment for the defendants on the grounds that preventing school overcrowding was a compelling governmental purpose. The developer sold the property at issue while the case was on appeal which mooted the appeal, the case, and the opinion. The Fifth Circuit remanded the case to the district court without issuing an opinion. 164 Fed.Appx. 530 (5th Cir. 2006).

6. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. HUD, 07-CV-945-L (N.D. Tex.). The plaintiff Inclusive Communities Project (“ICP”) is a fair housing focused non-profit organization which works with families seeking to obtain and retain housing in predominately non-minority areas of the Dallas metropolitan area. This is part of ICP’s work to break down barriers to the creation of racially and economically inclusive communities. Specifically, ICP works with Black families participating in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (the “Section 8 program”) administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and Dallas Housing Authority (“DHA”). ICP assists DHA Section 8 program families who choose to lease dwelling units in non-minority areas with counseling and financial assistance. ICP’s office is located in the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.

HUD must use market areas as the basis for setting the fair market rents in the Section 8 program. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o)(1)(B) incorporating 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(c)(1). Complaint ¶ ¶ 5, 36. Instead, HUD uses the Dallas metropolitan area, a region of 12 counties, or a subset of the metropolitan area, a region of 8 counties to set fair market rents. Complaint ¶¶ 9, The metropolitan area is not a market area. Complaint, 9, 11-18. HUD’s own research concludes that “Entire metropolitan areas (particularly the larger ones) also do not constitute single housing markets.” Appendix page 26.

By selecting this multi-county region instead of the actual market areas, HUD is able to apply a formula that calculates the maximum rent for the Section 8 program in the Dallas area based on the lower rents in predominantly minority markets where many of the neighborhoods are blighted and have inadequate public and private services and facilities. These market area rents are then applied by HUD to establish the maximum rent that can be paid under the Section 8 program in the higher rent predominantly White markets where there are few if any blighted neighborhoods and the public and private services and facilities are better than those in the minority blighted neighborhoods. Complaint ¶ 10. Black or African American Section 8 participants are hampered and obstructed in their ability to find housing in the predominantly White market areas. HUD’s failure to use market areas violates the Section 8 statutes and HUD obligation to affirmatively further fair housing under 42 U.S.C. § 3608(e)(5).

HUD's motion to dismiss was pending as of November 9, 2007.

The complaint

The HUD motion to dismiss, Affidavit in Motion to Dismiss

The plaintiff's response to the motion to dismissplaintiff's appendix motion to dismiss 

C. Julian & Daniel cases.

1. Williams v. City of Dallas, 734 F.Supp 1317 (N.D. Tex. 1990), the City of Dallas single member district case. Betsy Julian and Mike Daniel began this case as a Julian & Daniel case. They both continued to represent the plaintiffs in the case even after Ms. Julian left the firm in 1988.

2. City of Port Arthur v. U.S. and Mosely, et al, Intervenors, 517 F.Supp. 987 (D.D.C. 1981) aff'd 459 U.S. 159 (1982) (Julian & Daniel case) (voting rights single member district case against the City of Port Arthur).

3. PCVO v. Terrell, 565 F.Supp. 338 (N.D. Tex. 1983)(Julian and Daniel case)( voting rights single member district case against the City of Terrell).

4. Stephens v. Bowie County, 724 F.2d 424 (5th Cir. 1984)(Julian and Daniel case) (county indigent health care obligation).

5. Nisby v. Commissioners Court, 798 F.2d 134 (5th Cir. 1986)(Julian and Daniel case)(voting rights county commissioner reapportionment case in Jefferson County, Texas).

D. Other civil rights cases

1. a series of challenges to the City of Dallas use of code enforcement demolition of substandard but repairable dwellings in violation of the civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution. Demolition cost debts and liens to enforce the payment of the debts were released for the class members in one case, James v. City of Dallas, 254 F.3d 551 (5th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 1113 (2002), James v. City of Dallas Tex, 115 Fed.Appx. 205, 2004 WL 2898100, **1 ((5th Cir. 2004); Freeman v. City of Dallas, 242 F.3d 642 (5th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 817 (2001); Thomas v. City of Dallas, 175 F.3d 358 (5th Cir. 1999). 

2. injunctive relief to remedy the largest illegal landfill in the State of Texas that was located adjacent to African-American neighborhoods. The City of Dallas had knowingly permitted, encouraged and paid for the illegal landfill as part of its plan to reclaim the area from flood plain and rezone it for industrial use. Cox v. City of Dallas, 256 F.3d 281 (5th Cir. 2001); unsuccessful Fair Housing Act suit for damages from the illegal landfill, Cox v. City of Dallas, Tex., 430 F. 3d 734 5th Cir. 2005).

3. voting rights in reapportionment of a school board’s districts, Villegas v. Dallas Independent School Dist., 2003 WL 22573921, *1 (N.D.Tex 2003). 

4. federal and state use of a children’s blood lead testing procedure in the EPSDT program filed on behalf of a state class and a national class, Thompson v. Raiford, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2605 (N.D. Tex. 1998).

5. suit against DHA for a class of residents in a segregated Section 8 project based complex. The attempt to hold the landlord responsible for either civil rights or housing quality standards violations was unsuccessful, Banks v. Dallas Housing Authority, 271 F.3d 605 (5th Cir. 2001).

6. mortgage redlining and internet racial steering by a mortgage company, Isaac v. Norwest Mortgage, 153 F. Supp. 2d 900 (N.D. Tex. 2001), 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9354 (2002). 

7. City zoning discrimination against a group home in a Fair Housing Act based challenge, Avalon Residential Care Homes, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 130 F. Supp. 2d 833 (N.D. Tex. 2000). 

8. two cases involving the City of Dallas’s racial discrimination in connection with flood protection, environmental protection, zoning and other City services provided to the Cadillac Heights neighborhood, Miller v. City of Dallas, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2341 (2002), Lopez v. City of Dallas, Tex. 2004 WL 2026804, *1 (N.D.Tex. 2004).