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UNITED STATES v. YONKERS BD. OF EDUC.

May 28, 1986

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, -and- YONKERS BRANCH-NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors, against YONKERS BOARD OF EDUCATION; CITY OF YONKERS; and YONKERS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, Defendants. CITY OF YONKERS and YONKERS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, Third-Party Plaintiffs, -against- UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, and SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Third-Party Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAND

HOUSING REMEDY ORDER

 HONORABLE LEONARD B. SAND, U.S.D.J.

 Pursuant to this Court's liability findings of November 20, 1985, the evidence adduced at the remedial hearing, the supplemental findings set forth in the Opinion filed this date and the subsequent written submissions and oral arguments of the parties, the Court enters the following Order.

 I. Injunction

 The City of Yonkers, its officers, agents, employees, successors and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them, are permanently enjoined from:

 A. blocking or limiting the availability of public or subsidized housing in east or northwest Yonkers on the basis of race or national origin;

 B. confining public or subsidized housing to southwest Yonkers on the basis of race or national origin;

 C. otherwise intentionally promoting racial residential segregation in Yonkers;

 D. interfering with any person who is exercising or attempting to exercise his or her rights to equal housing opportunities;

 E. taking any action intended to deny or make unavailable housing to any person on account of race or national origin, or

 F. impeding or interfering with the successful implementation of the school desegregation remedy.

 II. Fair Housing Resolution and Office

 It is further ordered that the City shall take the actions described below to implement a fair housing program.

 A. Within 30 days of the date of this Order, the City shall adopt a Resolution of the City Council setting forth the fair housing policy of the City of Yonkers: to assure equal housing opportunities and nondiscrimination in the provision of housing throughout the entire City.

 B. Within 60 days of the date of this Order, the City shall adopt a Resolution of the City Council establishing a Fair Housing Office (FHO). The FHO shall have the general responsibility to administer and implement the fair housing policy of the City and shall have the specific responsibilities described below. The City shall provide for adequate funding of the FHO throughout the life of this Order to ensure that it may fully carry out its responsibilities. The FHO shall establish a principal office and auxiliary offices as needed. The FHO shall publicize and promote the services it offers.

 C. The FHO shall be headed by an Executive Director. The City shall provide funds for sufficient staff to carry out all of the FHO's responsibilities under this Order. Staff shall be hired by the Executive Director.

 D. Within 30 days after passage of the FHO Resolution, the City shall submit to the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors the names and qualifications of not less than three candidates for Executive Director. Within 15 days thereafter, the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors shall respond to the City, indicating which, if any, of the candidates are acceptable. The City Manager shall, within 15 days of these responses, appoint a candidate from among those approved by both the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors. If the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors do not agree on the acceptability of any of the City's candidates, they shall include in their responses to the City the names of two or more candidates of whom they approve. If the City Manager finds none of these alternative candidates acceptable, this Court shall make the selection from among all those suggested by the parties. If the position of Executive Director becomes vacant during the life of the decree, the same procedure shall be followed in making subsequent appointments with time periods adjusted so that the position does not stay vacant for longer than 60 days.

 E. In order for the other parties effectively to monitor the City's compliance with its obligations under this Order, the FHO shall submit to the City Manager and the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors each year during the life of this Order a proposed plan of activities and programs for the following year. The first such plan shall be submitted within 60 days of the appointment of an Executive Director. The United States and plaintiffs-intervenors shall have 30 days to make suggestions and comment on the plan before it is adopted by the City Manager. The City Manager must adopt a plan within 60 days of its submission.

 The FHO shall also, on a semi-annual basis, report to the United States and the plaintiffs-intervenors on its activities for the period, including any difficulties encountered in carrying out its responsibilities under this Order. The FHO shall maintain detailed records of its activities and, upon reasonable notice, shall make these records available to the United States or plaintiffs-intervenors for review.

 F. The FHO shall have the functions and responsibilities as set forth below:

 
1. On an ongoing basis, the FHO shall review the activities of City agencies and offices for compliance with the fair housing policy of the City and the terms of this Order. The FHO shall, as it deems appropriate, make recommendations to such entities for actions to be taken to ensure compliance with the fair housing policy and this Order. In its reports to the United States and plaintiffs-intervenors, the FHO shall include full information about its reviews of City agencies' activities, any recommendations made by the FHO and any agency action taken in response to such recommendations.
 
2. The FHO shall conduct educational programs for City and School District personnel, as well as for the community at large, to explain the City's fair housing policy and its enforcement efforts and obligations under this Order. Such programs should be designed to elicit support for the remedial efforts of the City and the Board of Education and to promote racial harmony in Yonkers. The FHO shall coordinate with the School Board the development and presentation of programs explaining fair housing policy to City school children. These educational programs shall be initiated as soon as possible (and, in no event, more than 60 days) after the appointment of an Executive Director. To the extent appropriate and feasible, the FHO shall make use of the services and experience of private and public organizations which have developed programs to aid communities experiencing desegregation.
 
3. The FHO shall collect information relating to housing needs and services, identify available rental and sales units within the City and provide information to homeseekers seeking housing on a nondiscriminatory basis and inform them of the availability of rental management companies, brokers, local lending institutions and agents. To assist the FHO in the gathering of this and any other relative information, the FHO shall have the right and authority to issue subpoenas which shall be enforceable by this Court. The FHO shall perform all of its functions on a continuing and nondiscriminatory basis throughout the life of this Order. The FHO shall ensure that all persons who request its assistance in obtaining housing are made aware of housing opportunities in all areas of the City. The FHO shall in particular make such information available to all persons in the City receiving Section 8 certificates who seek its services and the Municipal Housing Authority (MHA) shall inform persons obtaining certificates from that agency of the services available through the FHO.
 
4. The FHO shall offer training concerning fair housing practices for persons in the housing rental and sales business. In addition, the FHO shall require and conduct training concerning fair housing practices for all persons responsible for the management or marketing of housing ...

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