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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services

City of Santa Cruz violates Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity laws
by John E. Colby
Saturday Jun 9th, 2012 3:30 AM
When cities receive HUD grants, they must spend them in accordance with Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity laws or potentially lose their HUD funding. The City of Santa Cruz was warned by Regional Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Director Charles Hauptman that they had to stop locating their HUD block grant financed housing in low income neighborhoods with unequal opportunities — they could not segregate minority residents in pockets of poverty.

I just received a copy of this letter from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to HUD. Yet Santa Cruz Custodian of Records Nydia Patiño denies this letter exists, although she originally provided me a copy of it in response to a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request about Santa Cruz HUD grants. Regional FHEO Director Hauptman and HUD Regional Community Planning and Development (CPD) Director Maria Cremer addressed this letter to then Mayor Cynthia Mathews. Why hasn't anything changed?

Why would Nydia Patiño deny this letter's existence? Why won't Santa Cruz City Clerk Bren Lehr answer my sister Patricia Colby's question about the existence of this letter? Now I have smoking gun proof the City of Santa Cruz lied about this letter. What are they trying to hide?

I have asked the federal government to investigate this. Santa Cruz will be held responsible for segregating minorities into low income neighborhoods of unequal opportunity.

Here are some links about cities who are/were being sanctioned for misusing their HUD grants in violation of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity laws.

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/gross-county-must-hold-up-its-end-of-hud-deal-1.3718723

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-002

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/06/subsidizing_segregation_locked.html

Here is a training guide about Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for HUD block grants like the HOME and CDBG grants Santa Cruz gets from HUD — I recommend the Santa Cruz City Council and Santa Cruz housing officials study it. Why hasn't the Santa Cruz planning commission warned Santa Cruz officials they have been violating Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity laws?

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/images/fhpg.pdf