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Making Real the Desegregating Promise of the Fair Housing Act

"Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" Comes of Age

By Craig Gurian & Michael Allen

Westchester County, New York, has remained segregated even while receiving millions of dollars from federal housing and community development programs. How to change the status quo? The Anti-Discrimination Center knew that, as a Community Development Block grantee, the county was required to certify that it would work to “affirmatively further fair housing”—an obligation ignored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and grantees alike. In United States ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York Incorporated v. Westchester County the center alleged that the county’s certifications violated the False Claims Act. The judge agreed that a grantee’s certification was a substantive requirement and enforceable.

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