Open Communities Alliance v. Carson
Co-counseling with a group of civil rights lawyers, we represented Open Communities Alliance, a Connecticut-based fair housing organization, and two individuals, in a suit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HUD Secretary Ben Carson, challenging HUD’s decision to suspend a rule issued to assist low-income families in securing affordable housing. Specifically, HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program—formerly known as the Section 8 voucher program—subsidizes the housing costs of more than two million low-income American households. HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rent rule improves the way that the value of housing vouchers is calculated by allowing low-income families access to a broader market of rental properties. We filed suit in October 2017, and soon thereafter moved for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to enjoin HUD’s delay. In a decision issued on December 23, 2017, the district court held that HUD’s 2-year delay was both procedurally unlawful and arbitrary and capricious. The court granted the motion for a preliminary injunction, and vacated HUD’s action. HUD then agreed to entry of judgment against it.