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Monday, November 12, 2012

Our city officials claim to be concerned about the poor, their actions say differently!

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                  November 7,2012


Rock of Ages Missionary Baptist Church and 12 Low-Income Housing Providers File HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Against St. Paul and Minneapolis

On November 6, 2012, Rock of Ages Missionary Baptist Church, Reverend Sylvester Davis, St. Paul community leader Johnny Howard and nine other low-income housing providers in St. Paul and five low-income housing providers in Minneapolis filed a joint Housing Discrimination Complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development against St. Paul and Minneapolis challenging municipal housing laws, policies and practices related to privately-owned, low-income, "protected class"
housing.

The joint Housing Discrimination Complaint against St. Paul and Minneapolis states that the Cities have failed to comply with their civil rights certifications and contractual, statutory and regulatory obligations associated with the Cities' receipt of millions of dollars in federal aid, have failed to "affirmatively further fair housing," and have violated the Fair Housing Act, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

St. Paul and Minneapolis housing laws, policies and practices are in violation of the Cities' federal funding certifications and their affirmative duty to further fair housing. These illegal housing policies have: (1) denied housing and otherwise made affordable housing unavailable to "protected class" members; (2) negatively impacted low-income tenants and "disparately impacted" protected class members; (3) displaced these same individuals and families and those with disabilities from their homes without cause or justification; (4) negatively impacted owners of privately owned, low-income rental housing; (5) acted as a disincentive to private owners of affordable housing to continue offering such housing in the City or to expand such housing, including Section 8 federally subsidized rental units; (6) damaged low-income housing providers and their
tenants; and (7) negatively impacted members of minority churches who are disproportionately impacted by the Cities' affordable housing crisis and municipal overregulation of the low-income housing market.

Minneapolis Housing Policies Challenged Minneapolis has implemented and applied numerous housing policies that are negatively impacting the privately owned, low-income housing market including a rental
licensing revocation ordinance that is being used in a punitive manner against lowincome housing providers resulting in displacement of innocent "protected class" tenants and their families from "safe, decent and sanitary" housing. Minneapolis requires rental housing providers to acquire and maintain a separate license for each rental home. If a housing provider loses just two licenses, the City revokes all remaining licenses and thereby forces the displacement of innocent tenants and families from "safe, decent and sanitary" housing. Recently, the City revoked 16 rental housing licenses held by Ron and Julie Folger thereby forcing all families from their homes without any evidence of habitability concerns or other valid justification for evicting such families.

Minneapolis, in cooperation with a private energy company, is continuing a practice of condemning low-income rental homes for simple, quickly correctable items. In each case, the City immediately levies its oppressively high vacant building fees on the housing provider and refuses to lift the condemnation orders even though licensed contractors quickly remedy any legitimate code issues. These and other similar punitive
City actions take affordable rental homes off-line for extended periods of time and result in unavailable housing even though such housing is "safe, decent and sanitary" under state law and federal law.

Minneapolis applies City code standards and requirements to rental properties already compliant with federal minimum housing standards under the Section 8 Housing Quality Standards (HQS). Correction orders, fines and assessments are levied by the City for failure to meet the City's higher minimum standards.
Additional Minneapolis housing policies are in violation of state and federal law including, but not limited to, the City's condemnation and demolition of "safe, decent and sanitary" housing stock without a legal basis under the Minnesota State Building Code or under the federal minimum Section 8 housing standards.

Minneapolis selectively targets low-income privately owned rental properties and their owners for heavy code enforcement including oppressive fees, fines and assessments. Neighboring properties with similar physical conditions and claimed code violations are not targeted by City inspectors.

St. Paul Housing Policies Challenged In St. Paul, the City continues its heavy municipal regulation of the private housing market. City housing policies continue to negatively impact private owners and investors who, but for the City's excessive regulatory burdens mandated to cover low income housing stock, would have turned the thousands of "vacant" homes since 2002 into reoccupied, affordable homes without the delays that the City's over-regulation has created.

St. Paul's policy and practice illegally designates occupied homes and homes that are in a normal tenant turnover and cleanup, as "vacant buildings" that can no longer be occupied except by complying with expensive and in other ways onerous administrative requirements. In many cases, these selectively targeted homes either meet the federal minimum housing standards ("HQS"), or would meet such HQS standards with minimum actions by owners, if allowed by St. Paul officials. St. Paul's "Code Compliance


Certification Process" illegally removes grandfathering protections under the State Building Code for existing structures and creates undue delays in returning affordable housing to protected class members. St. Paul admits that it costs owners on average $30,000 in forced renovations in order to reoccupy a home under the City'S renovation policy. St. Paul's policies forcibly convert claimed "vacant," formerly affordable rental
homes to "homeowner occupied only" homes through redevelopment contracts and deed restrictions. This practice is another example of City housing policies that have the direct effect of "thinning out" the low-income rental housing stock occupied by "protected class" members, thereby negatively affecting their housing choice and locational choice for affordable and available housing in the City.

St. Paul's policy of hair-trigger condemnations, "nuisance" designations and demolitions of low-income rental properties continues even though such properties are affordable, safe, decent and sanitary and occupied predominately by "protected class" members. Where owners have made substantial investment in capital improvements and repairs to older buildings, St. Paul takes accelerated action to penalize owners and
remove affordable housing stock provided by the private market. Where the owner could, without City interference, quickly make repairs required to the property by the State Building Code, federal HQS, or the City'S legitimate code provisions, St. Paul is quick to order demolition and assess fines and penalties and thereby make such housing unavailable to protected class members.

These and other housing policies and actions of st. Paul and Minneapolis continue during an affordable, low-income rental housing crisis with thousands of "protected class" members on waiting lists in these cities.

Complainants

Rock of Ages Missionary Baptist Church, an African-American church community in st. Paul, has been negatively impacted by St. Paul's affordable housing crisis, with church members and attendees continuing to experience great difficulty in locating available housing in the City and in the inner-city Metro area. The lack of affordable housing in Frogtown and in the immediately surrounding areas has caused and continues to cause great difficulty for Rock of Ages Church in sustaining its membership and support services to the Community.

Additional participants in the HUD housing discrimination complaint are St. Paul housing providers, investors and business owners Gregory Ryan, David Roering, Joseph Egan, Robert Egan, Leslie Lucht, Ronald Staeheli, James Swartwood, Kenneth Johnson and CK Properties, LLC and Minneapolis housing providers, investors and business owners Ronald Folger, Julie Folger, RBE Properties, LLC, Steven Meldahl, SJM

Properties, Inc., Mahmood Khan and James Swartwood.

St. Paul and Minneapolis HUD Complainants own approximately 230 lowincome rental properties located in the inner-city areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis where most of the affordable housing stock consists of older homes and a high number of vacant homes exist. Complainants' rental properties are mostly older, single family and duplex homes that provide affordable housing to low-income persons and families with children.

Most of the tenants are minorities and disabled individuals and families. St. Paul and Minneapolis continue an ongoing pattern and practice of housing discrimination St. Paul and Minneapolis continue an ongoing pattern and practice of housing discrimination through a system of over-regulation, punitive and otherwise illegal
housing policies and practices, deliberate failures to follow federal and state law and continued violation of federal funding certifications and related obligations. St. Paul and Minneapolis have failed to consider, adopt and implement less discriminatory alternatives in their housing practices.

HUD's Investigative Role

HUD has the statutory authority to enforce compliance with the Fair Housing Act and related statutes and regulations. HUD has authority from Congress to provide funding grants to municipalities as grantees only if said grantees provide the required submissions and civil rights certifications. HUD is prohibited from providing federal funds to a grantee that has failed to either make the required certifications or issued a
false certification. Federal grants such as Community Development Block Grants that St.Paul and Minneapolis receive on an annual basis, are specifically conditioned upon legitimate and valid certifications by st. Paul and Minneapolis as grantees.

St. Paul and Minneapolis have violated their federal funding certifications by failing to "affirmatively further fair housing" in their jurisdictions and by failing to conduct legitimate, mandatory "Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing" ("AI") as defined under federal law, including analysis of all City housing laws, policies and practices, including building codes, applied to low-income housing in the cities. The
most recent "AI" by 8t. Paul and Minneapolis was conducted in 2009. The 2009 AI failed to address the housing policies and building code issues of these cities as required by federal law. Neither City has updated the 2009 AI.

Complainants seek a determination by HUD following an investigation that St. Paul and Minneapolis are in violation of their statutory and contractual duties and certifications. Complainants are requesting that HUD deem the certifications by St. Paul and Minneapolis insufficient to support their receipt of CDBG funds, HOME Investment

Partnership funds, Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds and all other federal funding applicable to all civil rights certifications. Complainants are asking that HUD withhold all HUD funding until St. Paul and Minneapolis meet all of their statutory and contractual obligations, take appropriate actions to remedy all adverse impacts of such policies and provide full restitution to all victims of said illegal policies.

Representing St. Paul and Minneapolis Complainants:

John R. Shoemaker (Attorney at Law)

SHOEMAKER & amp; SHOEMAKER, P.L.L.C

7900 International Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, MN 55425

Phone: (952) 224-4610
Fax: (952) 224-4601

John@shoemakerlaw.com

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jump on in here Eric and start telling us about these code violations again just to refresh our simple minds. What about you Repke? I thought it was just some landlords making this shit up so they could take the city for a ride, but now all kinds of others come forward too? I think there's a rat in the city woodpile.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hear a lot of business owners are starting to organize and sharing stories about all the abuse they received from dsi over the years.
its not just land lords being screwed by this dirty inspection dept.
we need a mayor with a back bone that will clean up this dsi cesspool

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Hud Complaint 2012 said...

Thanks4Posting Petition to Hud
also at www.freedom-4you.blogspot.com U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT
OFFICE OF FAIR HOUSING & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
ROCK OF AGES MISSIONARY
BAPTIST CHURCH, INC.,
REVEREND SYLVESTER DAVIS,
JOHNNY EARL HOWARD, SR.,
GREGORY RYAN,
DAVID ROERING, JOSEPH EGAN,
ROBERT EGAN, LESLIE LUCHT,
RONALD ST AEHELI,
JAMES SWARTWOOD,
KENNETH JOHNSON AND
CK PROPERTIES, LLC,
St. Paul Complainants,
RONALD FOLGER, JULIE FOLGER,
RBE PROPERTIES, LLC,
STEVEN MELDAHL,
SlM PROPERTIES, INC,
MAHMOOD KHAN AND
JAMES SWARTWOOD,
)

Minneapolis Complainants, )
vs.
CITY OF ST. PAUL,
A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION AND
CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS,
A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION,
Respondents.
)
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
COMPLAINT
Submitted November 5, 2012
HUD Inquiry No.: _ _ _
HUD Case No.: ___ _
[Title VIII]
[Title VI]
[Section 109]
Housing Discrimination Complaint
Rock of Ages Missionary Baplisl Church, el al. vs. SI. Paul and Minneapolis
November 5, 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 7
St. Paul Complainants ................................................... .................. 7
Minneapolis Complainants.. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. 7
Other Aggrieved Persons ....... ....................... . .. .. ........ .. ... ........... . ...... 7
Counsel for Complainants .. . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... 8
Summary of Alleged Wrongful Conduct.................................. .. ............ 8
Violations Occurred Due to "Protected Class" status.................................. 9
Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact ............................. . ................. 9
HUD's Jurisdiction and Obligation To Investigate Complaint ...... .. ................ 9
Timely Filing of Complaint - Respondent Cities' Continuing Violations ........... 10
Address and Location of the Properties in Question .................................... 10
St. Paul and Minneapolis Respondents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 10
St. Paul and Minneapolis Complainants are Members of Twin Cities Faith
Community and Providers of Privately-Owned, Low-Income Housing .............. 10
Complainants Provide "Safe, Decent and Sanitary" Rental Housing ... ... ... .... . ... 12
Respondent Cities Receive Annual Federal Grants Requiring Cities to
Conduct Mandatory "Analysis ofImpediments to Fair Housing Choice" ... .. ....... 12
"Impediments to Fair Housing Choice" as defined by HUD .............. .. ........... 12
HUD's Fair Housing Planning Guide ("FHPG") ........................................... 13
FHPG - Analysis of Local Building, Occupancy, Health and Safety Codes ........ 13
St. Paul and Minneapolis' Obligation to Create and Maintain
"AI" Related Records

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dirty bastards it is nno wonder everyone is suing them.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the same thing that we saw before. All this shows is that there was no discrimination back in 2004.

The point of the law suit is to argue that the City should not enforce the state housing code because poor people (and therefore a larger percentage of people of color) live in bad housing that landlords refuse to repair.

Any Federal issue here is exactly the same one that the City chose not to argue at the Supreme Court, which is.... does the case make any sense at all? Does the FHA intend to make sure that poor people live in unsafe housing? Because if any city ever loses one of these cases, they will simply have to stop inspecting any housing units.

The court would be ruling that poor people have a right to live in unsafe housing and that the City has an obligation to make sure there is a suply of fire traps and rat infested buildings.

Because the arguement is that clean, safe housing rents for to much.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

113adrenedhNot quite Chucky boy. The issue has always been as far as I understand it was that the city is using forced gentrification of the neighborhoods through the housing code. Those landlords were providing safe housing and you know it.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope... not what the issue is at all... that would be "Desparate Treatment" and everyone agrees that the FHA and any action of congress should insure against desparate treatment.

These suits are on "Desparate Impact." Desparate impact is when with no intention of doing something bad... in fact when doing something good, something else bad happens.

So, what is left in the old suit is that the City is enforcing the code as it should by law and that has the affect of people of color having a harder time finding affordable housing. What these cases would argue is that should mean that the City should not enforce the code.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

1:41 PM  
Anonymous OutSideCounsel said...

Chuck you've become the Striking Wonder Bread,Hostess,Twilight Vampire of Words via ie City St.Paul Bankrupt, Higher Property Taxes to pay4 Out Side Counsel DSI Horror's creating Treatment Intolerable, Impact Burdens, the City St.Paul cannot afford www.ci.stpaul.mn.us Have a Great Turkey Day, while Gaza Strip may Eat their Guns.
City hiring another law firm outside counsel for parks and rec.
http://stpaul.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1238899&GUID=D463AC29-978B-4918-AD1C-

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Lying Lawyers said...


Chuck Whats with City hiring Ourside Counsel, Looks like the Lawyers have a Gravey Train File #:

RES 12-2082 Version:1

Name:

Kennedy & Graven Outside Counsel Agreement

Type:

Resolution

Status:

Agenda Ready

In control:

City Council

Final action:

Title:

Authorizing the City Attorney's Office to retain the law firm of Kennedy and Graven, Chartered, to represent the Parks and Recreation Department in the acquisition of land for the Lowertown Ballpark.

Sponsors:

Kathy Lantry

Attachments:

Kennedy & Graven-Outside Counsel Agreement.pdf, Kennedy and Graven Financial Anaylsis.pdf

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Quid ProQuo Justice said...

Shocking your not posting more, Presidental Election Relevant
‘Quid Pro Quota at Justice’


By Roger Clegg

September 26, 2012 5:32 P.M.



That’s the title of an editorial today in the Wall Street Journal (behind the firewall here). Here’s the story: Earlier this year, the Supreme Court was poised to hear oral arguments in the fully briefed Magner v. Gallagher, a case presenting the issue of whether a “disparate impact” cause of action may be brought under the Fair Housing Act. Now, the theory in disparate-impact causes of action is that someone can be held liable for racial discrimination if he uses a selection device that leads to a racial imbalance, even if the device is neutral on its face, in its intent, and as applied. In the housing context, for example, rejecting mortgage applicants because of their credit history can be challenged if this results in a higher percentage of blacks than Asians being turned down, and it then becomes up to the lender to prove to a jury some degree of “business necessity” for his practice. The Obama administration is a great fan of this approach to civil-rights enforcement, and it was quite upset that the Supreme Court might rule it illegal. So it successfully leaned on the City of St. Paul, a petitioner in the suit, to withdraw its case from the Supreme Court.

When the Justice Department’s coercion came to light, two House committees decided to investigate, and what they found is the subject of today’s Journal editorial. It turns out that part of the deal with the City of St. Paul was that the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in a separate, False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that the City had made false certifications to the federal government. That deal was made at the insistence of Civil Rights Division head Thomas Perez and over the objections of the department’s career attorneys in the Civil Division. Oh, and here’s another nugget, not mentioned by the Journal: The false certification was that the city was using federal funds to create jobs for low-income workers of all races, when in fact it was only focused on employing minorities. To Perez, then, it was a win-win deal: He would ensure that the Obama administration could continue to bring disparate-impact lawsuits (which result in politically correct racial discrimination) in exchange for giving the city a pass on its policy of . . . politically correct racial discrimination. Of course, staying out of the False Claims Act suit may have cost U.S. taxpayers over $180 million, according to the House committees, but who says that social justice is cheap?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stench from the city policies continues unabated. One lie after another. People are on to it, and the city taxpayers will have to pay.

Bob G.

7:24 PM  

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