California Town Accuses LA of Discriminating Against Latinos in Housing

The city of Lancaster has filed a complaint alleging Los Angeles County and its housing authority unlawfully favor African-Americans over Latinos when granting vouchers for Section 8 housing.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the complaint filed Wednesday claims county officials discriminate against other eligible groups.

County housing chief Sean Rogan says he hasn't seen the complaint but that housing is provided in a fair and equitable manner.

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"Our mission is to provide affordable, decent, and safe housing to Los Angeles County residents, and we do so in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with [federal housing] regulations and do not discriminate," he said in an email, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the complaint, Lancaster officials say their city has a "disproportionate share of African-Americans on federal housing assistance."

Lancaster officials say 70 percent of Lancaster's housing subsidy recipients are African-Americans, compared to 20 percent of the overall population.

By comparison, 14 percent of the city's housing subsidy recipients are Latino, while Latinos make up about 38 percent of the city's overall population.

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“They’ve been promoting the Antelope Valley to poor, sick people. What they’ve been telling them is that you get more bang for your buck in Lancaster and Palmdale. What they don’t tell [them] is that the health facilities aren’t there, the support facilities aren’t there.” Said Lancaster Mayor  R. Rex Parris to the Los Angeles Times.

The voucher program "is based on choice, and information is provided to applicants that they can choose where to live,” Rogan added.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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