The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET
Plaintiffs in Davis v. New York City Housing Authority (the "Davis Plaintiffs") and in United States v. New York City Housing Authority (the "Government") (collectively, the "Plaintiffs") request that the time provided under the Consent Decree to file objections to changes in the Tenant Selection and Assignment Plan (the "TSAP") proposed by the New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") be extended until sixty (60) days after the Department of Housing and Urban Development completes its review of the proposal or for 60 days from the return date of the motion.
For reasons elaborated below, the Plaintiffs' motion will be partially granted.
NYCHA is the largest public housing agency in the United States, operating more than 320 projects, comprising approximately 180,000 apartments which house nearly 500,000 people. NYCHA operates these projects pursuant to an Annual Contributions Contract and other agreements with the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), New York State and New York City. To be eligible for admission to public housing, families must be "low-income," defined by the United States Housing Act of 1937 as receiving household income less than 80 percent of the median income for the area. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 1437a(a)(1), 1437a(b)(2).
The Davis Plaintiffs are Latino and African-American individuals residing in or eligible for NYCHA housing.
On May 31, 1990, the Davis Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against NYCHA, styled Davis v. New York City Housing Authority, 90 Civ. 628, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in the selection and assignment of public housing tenants in violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. (the "Fair Housing Act"); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d; and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983. The Government later initiated a parallel action, United States v. New York City Housing Authority, 92 Civ. 4873, also alleging that NYCHA's policies and practices of selecting tenants for projects violated the Fair Housing Act.
The Government, the Davis Plaintiffs and NYCHA engaged in extensive settlement negotiations between October, 1991 and June, 1992. On July 1, 1992, a Consent Decree incorporating the TSAP was signed by the parties. The Consent Decree consolidated the Government and Davis Complaints, certified a plaintiff class of Black and Hispanic applicants and tenants in Davis, and provided certain relief with respect to the Plaintiffs.
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e), a fairness hearing was held on November 6, 1992. Additional written statements were received by the Court through November 11, 1992. A summary order approving the Consent Decree was entered on November 17, 1992, followed by a written opinion and order of the Court dated December 30, 1992.
By letter dated July 19, 1996, the Davis Plaintiffs requested an extension of time to object to modifications to the TSAP proposed by NYCHA on July 13, 1995. The request was deemed a motion, on which oral argument was heard on September 11, 1996. The Court received additional submissions through September 17, 1996, when the motion was deemed fully submitted.
The Consent Decree contains the following provision for raising objections to proposed modifications to the Tenant ...