Friday, August 14, 2015

 
 
BROWNSVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY TO BE TARGET OF FEDERAL DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT

I was assigned by the Fair Housing Administration to be the representative of two families who were targeted by a landlord for eviction because of their children.  There were plenty of witnesses when the landlord told them a resident did not like that the mother had an aid to help with her children.  The mother is disabled.  When they moved in the landlord was given full disclosure on the issue.

No one had ever complained the children were disruptive.  The only reason given was the neighbor complaining she did not like the fact this mother was receiving assistance to help care for her children based on her disability. 

The FHA wanted to know if the Brownsville Housing Authority was informed and I said yes.  You see the lawyer who works for them exists to make sure contracts go the way of the Board and has no interest or knowledge of the law when it comes to housing.

For example the law concerning the eviction of someone under Section 8 is different than for a regular person.  Remember the landlord has a contract with the BHA as much as they do with the tenant.  The BHA claims zero knowledge of federal law on this issue.

The caseworkers have zero knowledge of the law because the Board and lawyer insure they are kept in the dark.  When you mention the FHA act the case workers look at you like they have never heard of it.

The investigators at the FHA administration have asked on behalf of the families I have been assigned to help - there is no fee involved - [and I was assigned under federal law which allows any person to designate anyone to be their representative] to file a formal federal complaint against the BHA.

I can document that the caseworker basically told the victim of domestic abuse she could go to hell before they will enforce the Violence Against Women Act.  DA Saenz basically said the same thing. 

The BHA bends over backwards to help the landlords discriminate against the poor.  The landlord currently under investigation will be part of the complaint against the BHA.  They made it clear that landlords are free to breach the lease and agreement with the BHA even if the reason is a violation of the FHA.  Why?  There is no training because the BHA will never hire a lawyer whose purpose is anything but to corrupt the process to manipulate contracts.

A lot of people on Housing are disabled and have never worked which means they do not have credit cards, hence no credit history.  This forces disabled housing recipients to live in substandard housing under landlords who have to be paying the inspectors to turn a blind eye to fire hazards and other problems.  I have seen approved housing in complexes which should be condemned. 

It is a violation of federal law for the BHA to aide landlords in the discrimination against disabled people.  The landlords cannot use the lack of a credit report to deny someone housing but they do.  They charge upwards of $40 to run the credit check to then tell them they do not qualify because they have no credit history.  The landlords are fine to say no go, but not if they are asking to be part of the voucher program.  Also good luck without a lawsuit to get a landlord to comply with the law and send the denied tenant a letter explaining they were denied a lease based on a credit check.  This is another federal law the BHA has made clear they will never demand the landlords comply with.

Landlords have to give no reason why they are breaching the lease.  Not so under federal law.  The BHA has made it clear until a court orders them to enforce the law, they will not.  The landlord must put into writing the specifics as to why they are breaching the lease with the tenant and agreement with the BHA authority.  The BHA authority refuses to enforce any federal or state law against the landlords.

The FHA authority was horrified over the endless documented examples I have of the BHA refusing to enforce federal and state law against the landlords. 

So within the next three weeks after we settle with this landlord the FHA administration will move forward against the BHA authority.

The city commission if they were so inclined can fix this - but they will not.  They are so disconnected from the reality on the ground as to their constituents it would never occur to them Brownsville has poor and disabled people.

The city commission will turn a blind eye when the BHA spends probably over $100,000 of money which could go to housing vouchers, to defend why they are not bound by law.  I am certain their inept lawyer will send a letter to the effect of "Do you realize in Brownsville there is not law, and good luck finding a judge to enforce any law against the BHA authority"

The last time I reached the point of a lawsuit being filed against the BHA Miguel Salinas [now BISD] who was then the lawyer for them was telling legal aide that the legal opinion in the Antonio Juarez case - then the director who had won a legal point against BISD - was bad law.  Yep you heard that right they were arguing that because the Board never met to suspend the recipients voucher in retaliation for all of her complaints against Art Rendon when he was in charge of Special Services, they could not be sued.  Just weeks early federal judge Hanen for Antonio Juarez had ruled the BISD Board did not have to meet to conspire against him for Antonio Juarez to sue the BISD Board.

So get ready Brownsville , the city commission will sit silent as hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent by the BHA defending their right to protect their landlords and not enforce contracts, the Violence Against Women Act, and the anti-discrimination laws provided for under federal law. 

We saw the Brownsville City Commission waste millions under the Firefighters ME TOO clause.  We just saw the County Commission waste millions ignoring the law over land donated to the county on SPI.  BISD continues to bleed red in attorneys fees and settlements rather than play by the law.

A mass resignation of the Brownsville City Commission, County Commission and BISD Board would save the people millions and millions of dollars.  But this will not happen because the lawyers and vendors own all of our elected officials and the voice of the people and our tax dollars means nothing to our elected officials.

Brownsville and Cameron county are polluted by the most horrible elected officials imaginable, and now they seek to polute our subtropical paradise with LNG.  How did we get so screwed with such corrupt and inept elected officials. 

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