FEDERAL and county officials, housing advocates and advocates for the groups protected by the federal civil rights act have all been wrestling with the finding by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that Marin has been “noncompliant” in meeting requirements to affirmatively further fair-housing opportunities.
That means Marin must devise ways to remedy HUD’s finding.
Since January, these entities — HUD, the county and the countywide committee that doles out federal housing and community grants — have been interpreting the meaning of the finding and the “Voluntary Compliance Agreement” signed by the county Board of Supervisors and HUD. The agreement assures HUD that Marin will begin complying with the terms agreed to when accepting the federal grants.
HUD’s investigative report does give specific areas of concern, such as ensuring that the protected minorities are given input into the distribution of this funding and to further ensure that federal funds are not used in any way that discriminates against these groups.
It has been difficult for our county to absorb the administrative slap on the wrist by HUD.
The county’s first reaction was denial. Specifically, county officials and county-based fair-housing advocates have gone to great pains to minimize and dismiss the federal findings of noncompliance. They have characterized the findings as mere administrative oversights and bemoaned the extra work for the staff, as if the noncompliance only impacts them.
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