Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Feds Suspend St. Louis from Housing Program after Missouri Loosens Discrimination Laws

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Feds Suspend St. Louis from Housing Program after Missouri Loosens Discrimination Laws

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY * The federal agency in charge of the Fair Housing Assistance Program has suspended St. Louis from participating, a result of Missouri's rewrite last year of the state's discrimination laws.

The move was expected. In a July 14 letter last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wrote to Gov. Eric Greitens' administration that the signing of Senate Bill 43, which makes it harder to sue for discrimination, made Missouri's law no longer "substantially equivalent" to federal law, a requirement for participation in the program.

Bryan Greene, HUD general deputy assistant secretary, wrote that Missouri must tweak its new law to meet federal rules by March 1 to continue participating in the Fair Housing Assistance Program. The money that Missouri would lose out on would help reimburse the state for housing discrimination investigations.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has so far opted not to change the law this year. So on March 3, Anna Maria Faras, the assistant secretary for fair housing, wrote to the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency notifying it that the city's participation in the program would be suspended through May 15.

Reacting to the news, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, a Democrat, told the Post-Dispatch the new law was "detrimental" and should be repealed. …

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