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Carter, et al. v. Housing Authority of the Town of Winchester (D. Conn.)

On August 1, 2012, on behalf of Crystal Carter and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center ("CFHC"), Relman, Dane & Colfax filed a federal lawsuit against the Housing Authority of the Town of Winchester, Connecticut ("WHA") alleging that WHA discriminates against African-Americans and Hispanics by imposing a "residency requirement" in its allocation of Section 8 housing choice vouchers.

Ms. Carter, who is an African-American single mother, contacted WHA to request a Section 8 voucher application, hoping for a chance to move her family into a safe, stable, high-opportunity area. Although WHA's Section 8 waiting list was open, WHA refused to send Ms. Carter an application, telling her that she was not eligible because she did not live in Winchester or one of sixteen neighboring towns, the populations of which are all overwhelming White and non-Hispanic. WHA also told Ms. Carter that Winchester was not on a "bus-line," that there were no jobs there, and that it was in the "woods." WHA told Ms. Carter to apply to other housing programs in communities with considerably larger African-American and Hispanic populations.

The CFHC conducted an investigation confirming that WHA precludes prospective applicants who do not already live in Winchester or a neighboring town from applying to, or becoming beneficiaries of, its Section 8 voucher program. The CFHC's investigation also revealed that WHA's residency requirement disproportionately affects African-Americans and Hispanics and perpetuates segregation in Winchester and the surrounding towns, prohibiting tens of thousands of income-eligible African-American and Hispanic households from participating in WHA's Section 8 program.