Feds sue Western Oklahoma housing agency for discrimination
Mike Seals - December 15, 2020 11:14 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has sued the affordable housing agency in the western Oklahoma town of Lone Wolf for allegedly denying housing to a Black mother and her 5-year-old daughter because of their race.
The Justice Department’s civil rights division announced the lawsuit Tuesday against the Housing Authority of the Town of Lone Wolf and two of its former employees. Federal prosecutors allege authority officials told a white applicant they had units available, but changed their story for a black applicant.
When officials with Legal Aid, a group helping the woman get housing, conducted a test, they say housing authority officials told a white woman there were multiple apartments available and showed her three vacant ones. The next day, the same officials told a Black woman there were no units available, according to prosecutors.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the mother and a court order prohibiting further discrimination.
A telephone message left by the Associated Press Tuesday with the Lone Wolf Housing Authority wasn’t immediately returned.
Less than 1% of the town’s roughly 400 residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.