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Cuomo: NY to combat ‘anti-American’ Trump fair housing order

New York joins lawsuit to force HUD adherence to Obama order requiring communities create measures combating housing discrimination.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday, May 14,

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday, May 14, 2018, brought NY into a lawsuit seeking to force HUD to adhere to an Obama-era order requiring communities create measures to combat housing discrimination. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday brought New York into a lawsuit against the federal government accusing the Trump administration of an “anti-American” action by suspending a measure to combat segregation in housing.

The Trump administration, however, has said the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s decision was prompted by a failure of communities to meet the standards of the order.

The lawsuit is brought by fair housing advocates. They seek to force HUD to adhere to an order under former president Barack Obama that would force communities to create and implement measures to combat discrimination in housing or lose millions of dollars in federal funding.

Obama’s order required implementation of a policy first passed in the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

“The federal government’s role to fight against segregation in this country . . . is fundamental to our concept of a thriving society and this administration has taken a giant step backwards, not just in time, but in progress,” Cuomo said on Monday.

Four times Cuomo called the Trump administration’s action “repugnant.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson called government-forced desegregation a “failed social experiment” and ordered a new tactic to fight housing segregation.

Communities must still promote fair housing, according to HUD, but now have until at least 2024 to come up with concrete plans. The independent Government Accountability Office found many local governments weren’t fully complying with the Obama rule and didn’t provide specific remedies.

A HUD spokesman said he couldn’t comment on a pending lawsuit.

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